Unit of competency details

PUAFIR307B - Monitor hazardous atmospheres (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PUAFIR316 - Identify, detect and monitor hazardous materials at an incidentUnit Title revised. Application of the Unit added. Method of assessment added. 12/Mar/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 09/Feb/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 039905 Fire Technology  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 039905 Fire Technology  03/Sep/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit covers competence in monitoring atmospheric conditions to measure contaminants, interpret readings, recommend action to take based on the interpretation, and the effects on humans exposed to hazardous atmospheres.

Application of the Unit

Application of the Unit 

The application of this unit in the workplace - the environments, complexities and situations involved - will be written during Phase II of the Review of the PUA00 Public Safety Training Package.

This text will be useful for the purposes of job descriptions, recruitment advice or job analysis; where possible, it will not be too job specific to allow other industries to import it into other Training Packages, where feasible.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite Unit /s 

PUAFIR207B Operate breathing apparatus open circuit

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance Criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the Required Skills and Knowledge and/or the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare and plan for monitoring 

1.1 Equipment  is selected, calibrated and used to take atmospheric readings in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and the organisation's requirements

2. Take precautions to safeguard health 

2.1 Safety information and procedures  are accessed and applied throughout the work

2.2 Appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment is selected and used

2.3 Recommendations on actions to be taken are made based on atmospheric readings

3. Take atmospheric readings 

3.1 Readings of contaminants are interpreted, recorded and analysed and/or compared with specifications and exposure limits

3.2 Results are communicated in accordance with organisation's procedures

4. Maintain equipment 

4.1 Monitoring equipment inspections and fault finding are carried out in accordance with manufacturers instructions

4.2 Records of tests and results are maintained in accordance with the organisation's procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required Skills 

Don, operate in, decontaminate and remove personal protective clothing and equipment

Analyse and communicate results of sampling

Required Knowledge 

use and limitations of protective clothing and equipment

risk assessment

applicable exemptions for emergency services

purging agents

common chemical asphyxiants  including: hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen sulphide

common irritants and corrosives  including: chlorine, ammonia and acid bases

common flammable gases  including: acetylene, petroleum, methane, ethane, propane and butane


(explosive range, upper and lower explosive limits)

exposure standards (time weighted average, short term exposure limits, peak limitation values, examination of toxic effect at the level of a range of flammable gases

conditions under which atmospheres become hazardous

organisational procedures for entering hazardous atmospheres

toxic effects on humans exposed to commonly encountered combustion gases

units of measurement used to express concentration of atmospheric contaminants (mg/cubic m. ppm, % v/v)

Evidence Guide


Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

It is essential in this unit that competence be demonstrated in:

applying personal safety principles

interpreting atmospheric conditions using atmospheric monitoring equipment

recommending appropriate action

maintaining monitoring equipment

Consistency in performance 

Evidence should be gathered over a range of variables, all using different types of monitoring equipment

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

A demonstration activity using workplaces/atmospheres with detectable but safe levels of contaminants should be used

Specific resources for assessment 

For the demonstration of competence in this unit it will be necessary to provide a real life environment and/or simulations based on possible incidents. This should be done with access to a range of personal protective clothing and equipment, range of detection equipment as well as suitable simulation and/or sites.

Underpinning knowledge may be assessed through written assignments, and observation at simulated incidents

Guidance information for assessment 

Information that will assist or guide assessment will be written during Phase II of the Review of the PUA00 Public Safety Training Package.

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Working environment may be 

hazardous, unpredictable, subject to time pressure, chaotic and expose responders to risk, on land or water, by day or night

Safety information and procedures must include 

relevant legislation, Australian Standards, codes of practice, manufacturer's instructions and organisational procedures

Procedures may include 

safe working

permit entry plan

entry testing procedures

appropriate rescue and first aid plans

risk management


computer plume modelling

Response situations must include 

confined spaces

enclosed and partially enclosed spaces

and may also include 

storage tanks, silos, pits, pipes, shafts, ducts, transport vehicles and ships

obstructed entry/exit points

low visibility or lack of illumination

unsound or insecure structures

single and multi agency response

Equipment must include 

breathing apparatus, chemical protective clothing and equipment, portable instruments, radiation detectors, sampling tubes and pumps, oxygen level meter, carbon monoxide detector and combustible gas detectors

Workplace atmospheres may 

include visible and invisible hazards

include hazardous surfaces

range from safe to unsafe

Incidents may include 

all fire, Hazmat or rescue incidents

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Corequisite Unit/s

Co-requisite Unit /s 

PUATEA001B Work in a team