Following a fatality where a blaster connected their respirator to shop air, the blasting industry needed a breathing air solution. Meeting this challenge head on, RPB developed the very unique RZ System, which makes it impossible to connect a respirator to anything other than breathing air.
I’m Kurt Ivory, the Chief of Marketing Officer here at RPB Safety, based in Detroit Michigan.
One of the solutions we had in recent years, was we worked with a customer who had an incident. Sadly, a fatality in their workplace. The situation was a gentleman plugged a respirator into a nitrogen line. He wasn’t using a compliant airline hose, which allowed him to plug into the nitrogen line and sadly, was suffocated.
We went to the company, we got their input from them about what had happened, and it turns out that the biggest issue that they had was with this airline fitting. There’s been a real challenge in the industry with airline fittings, breathing airline fittings being unique for breathing air, so our engineering team worked around the clock to come up with a system that wasn’t compatible with other systems.
As a company, we like to work with end user customers and our distributors to be more than just a respiratory provider. We like to be known in the industry as a solutions provider. So what we looked to do was instead of just saying, "Yeah, we can provide you with a respirator that will protect you from this or, an abrasive blasting respirator or a welding respirator that will do whatever it should do..." We want to find out whats your pains, whats your issues, and what challenges are you facing.
So with that the RZ fitting is something that we designed, that’s proprietary to RPB, in other words it only connects to our products, and it’s guaranteed to only connect to a breathing air source. It’s completely incompatible with any other fitting in the industry, which now means the fitting will only ever connect to the RPB breathing air source. This here means that now the operators, get that peace of mind that the air that they are connecting to is always going to be breathing air. It’s going to come through filtration, it’s getting monitored for gas, so that way they’re getting that peace of mind that they are protected.
What they wanted was, in their terms, they wanted to try and stop people, as they said bastardizing systems. So people taking the fittings off an airline hose and switching them out. So, an RZ hose, we have the three different hoses, there’s a 25, 50 and a 100 foot hose lengths, and you’ll notice on an RZ hose that the fittings are stuck into the hose and crimped in place. There’s no thread, you can’t take the fittings off, so if you damage the hose you replace the entire hose, or if you damage the coupler you replace the entire hose.
That was a safety measure that they wanted in place so that if they saw our product in the worksite… And we came up with the terminology with them, if it’s green to green to green you’re good to go.
So basically go onto a worksite, anyone using respirators, if they’ve got a green airline hose they’ve got the NIOSH/OSHA certified hose, if they’ve got a green and grey C40 on their hip, and they’ve got a green respirator, (technically the Nova 3 is grey but it has a green cape and a green visor). So if you see green to green to green, your team’s good to go.
They wanted that, so if they go onto a worksite and they see a black airline hose, they know that someone’s not compliant.
Now the reason for calling it RZ was, it actually references back to the gentleman who sadly lost his life with this incident. So we’ve acknowledged that in the naming of this fitting. And what we’re doing is every RZ fitting that we sell, 50 cents of that fitting goes to the society that supports families of fallen workers, is an ASSP society, American Society of Safety Professionals.
For us we want to change the market with the RZ solution, we don’t want to see any other fittings out there on the marketplace for supplied air. We want the RZ fitting to become the system for supplied air, and again running that program of green to green to green you’re good to go.
So it’ll be great for safety officers walking onto job sites that they’ll be able to see that this guy’s compliant straight away with the green hose on the ground. OSHA inspectors, if they look for green hoses the guys wearing the respirator should have an RZ fitting, should have a green hose, then they know they’re compliant straight away.
Again this whole solution was to promote that RPB is your solutions provider, not just a respiratory protection provider. Whatever it is that you’re doing, we can partner with you, and come up with better solutions that help ensure your operators are protected for life’s best moments.
My comment to anyone out there in the market, if you’re struggling with respiratory protection, if you’re having challenges, if you’re having issues, please reach out to us because we would love to partner with you just like we partnered with this company to give them a solution that works perfects for them and ultimately saves lives.
For more information about the RZ System email [email protected] or call 1-866-494-4599.