Optimal respirator use and management is a serious concern for many nuclear facilities. In working closely with its customers, UniTech recognized a need to offer a new program that will assure safer, more productive use, cleaning and maintenance of this important safety equipment.

UniTech selected longtime nuclear respirator expert William Dougherty to work with our customers to institute and manage a structured program of best “real world” practices and processes to get the most effective service, safety and longevity from the respirators in use. Dougherty says, “This initiative is especially timely because the respirator systems UniTech provides its customers today are significantly better and more high-tech than anything available before.” Dougherty adds, “Take the 3M 9100 FX-Air welding helmets with respiratory protection, which have 3M’s Speedglas™ welding lenses that are auto darkening so that the worker doesn’t have to remove and replace the visor while working. The new respirator systems are optimized to meet or exceed the demands of nuclear facility work.”

“The respirator systems are far and away better and more high-tech than anything previously available.”

We now provide focused process development and training at the customer’s facility. Respirator cleaning and maintenance can be handled in one of two appropriate ways, either by having trained UniTech labor do the work at the customer’s plant, or by safely packing and transporting the respirator systems to a UniTech facility for cleaning and maintenance by our trained staff.

The new respirator management program includes in-plant processes that respond to specific challenges faced by nuclear workers. One important premise, now supported by step-by-step procedures for workers, is that routinely keeping the respirator systems clean by observing basic protocols prevents safety problems and plant expense later. “For example,” says Dougherty, “plant workers need to know to avoid touching the respirator with contaminated hands whenever possible. And when exiting a contaminated area while wearing a respirator, workers need to know the proper doffing process while maintaining positive respirator pressure during removal.”

UniTech piloted the program at the HB Robinson plant in Hartsville, SC during a recent cavity seal project. To learn more, please contact Gregg Johnstone at gjohnstone@UniTechUS.com or speak with your account representative.