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Make safety in the paint booth more comfortable

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 07:00
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Painters know that respiratory protection is necessary, as paint booth exposures to paint mists and vapors may cause irritation or potentially lead to serious health problems. But many might balk at the bulkiness of some powered and supplied air respirators currently on the market and the restrictions that such systems put on their mobility, particularly when they have to take it off and on for trips back and forth to the paint mixing room.
Now, 3M has a new solution – the 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-800 Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) – the new standard in intrinsically safe respiratory protection. The innovative new PAPR is designed to incorporate ergonomic styling and long battery life combined with leading technology from 3M.  The low-profile PAPR design provides more freedom than a fresh-air system because the painter is not tethered to an air hose, allowing the painter to move about the booth easily and leave and return without removing the equipment.
“We want to ensure painters have access to comfortable respiratory protection on the job with a PAPR they want to wear, even when they are working in the booth all day long,” said Chris Sneden of the 3M Personal Safety Division.  “By combining a variety of 3M solutions for the paint booth such as: helmets, hoods and headcovers, protective coveralls and eye protection, we can help make their work in the paint booth easier and more efficient while providing them comfort and control.”
As part of the 3M Versaflo family, the TR-800 can be combined with Versaflo headtops, belts, and certain other accessories to become part of a NIOSH-approved respirator system.  The TR-800 system features: multiple speeds, audible and visual alarms and the ability to work with a wide variety of cartridges.  It is designed on a global platform which gives multinational customers the option to standardize on one product platform with both NIOSH and CE versions available.
The 3M Versaflo TR-800 is designed for improved worker comfort, convenience and control. 
Key features include:

  • With a lighter overall weight and more compact design than 3M’s legacy GVP-PSK2 PAPR, the TR-800-PSK is designed for easy movement in a paint booth. Multiple airflow rates that put the painter in control of their comfort with the ability to work at their own speed
  • Intuitive, colored touchpoints plus visual and audible low-flow indicators
  • Innovative construction featuring 3M-patent pending material capable of meeting new IEC/UL 60079 material properties requirement while still meeting aging, conditioning and drop test requirements for IS products
  • Multi-speed blower functions at altitudes up to 16,000 feet to keep the air flowing
  • Long run time batteries that charge quickly, achieving 90% charge in approximately 3.5 hours, with approximately 750 full charge/discharge cycles and a built-in charge level indicator
  • Mechanical attachment of the battery to help prevent battery removal during use and spark risk during use per IEC/UL 60079 along with battery protection bumpers to help absorb impact
  • More options for more tasks, with the ability to choose from particulate filters or gas and

3M also suggests these additional precautions for additional protection in the paint booth:

  • Work with your local 3M representative to help you decide on the respirator options that are the best for your employees.
  • Ensure that all employees required to wear tight fitting respirators are fit tested on the product prior to use.
  • According to an article published on the center for disease control’s website, ‘there is evidence that both respiratory and dermal exposures can lead workers to become sensitized to isocyanates,’ which make gloves, protective coveralls and eye protection important pieces of PPE for any painter **
  • Ensure the paint booth is properly vented and sealed to help reduce the flow of harmful chemicals into the shop

The 3M Versaflo TR-800 is a PAPR blower with battery UL-certified with an intrinsically safe (IS) rating of Division 1: IS Class I, II, III; Division 1 (includes Division 2) Groups C, D, E, F, G; T4, under the most current standard (UL 60079, 6th Edition, 2013).
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