Hyperbaric Facility Safety Director Training Program
This course has been reviewed and approved by the AMA, and is jointly sponsored by the UHMS. Dick Rutkowski has been the program director of the Hyperbarics International course for 33 years. He has also been the Co-Director of the NOAA UHMS course for 33 years.
The hyperbaric facility safety director has many tasks and responsibilities, some of which are dependent on the type of facility they are involved with. Several types of hyperbaric treatment environments are in use today: multi-place multi-lock (walk in air treatment) chambers; mono-place (single patient oxygen) chamber facilities; hospital based facilities; and free-standing facilities. These various environments can be used for the treatment of acute, chronic, or ambulatory patients for approved or non-approved (a.k.a. non-reimbursable) conditions.
Hospital-based multi-place and mono-place chambers, as well as free-standing clinics, must meet or exceed all government codes and regulations; with emphasis on the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 99 and the Food and Drug Administration’s FDA 510. In the event of injury to personnel, the facility will be inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or other applicable city, state, or federal agencies. There are some safety rules in place that differ for multi and mono-place chambers, with more stringent rules in place that must be adhered to 100% when placing patients into a mono-place oxygen chamber.
Many of the facility safety director’s responsibilities will apply regardless of the type of facility they are overseeing. The facility safety/medical director will work with the physician and/or facility supervisor, as well as all other operational personnel working under their direction, to ensure they have received the proper training and have acquired any applicable certifications to run the type of chamber at their facility. This includes: constant monitoring of air and/or oxygen for breathable quality, adherence to facility fire codes and all other safety standards for the facility and equipment – including equipment for oxygen service. The Hyperbarics International program will encompass safety information as it pertains to the personnel and facilities concerned.