Owner, Ed Wolmers, has worked for over 25 years in the towing and repossession industry. Founded in 2007, JTDA Group provides superior collateral asset recovery services to the financial industry. We do a lot of boat bottom hull blasting, anti-foul paint removal.
Q: Before you used the RPB Nova 3 Helmet, what challenges did you face?
A: Our first biggest challenge was skin contact and the effects to the body. We do a lot of boat bottom hull blasting, anti-foul paint removal. Without the Nova 3 hood we would be forced to use tight-fitting goggles to protect our eyes. Even with the goggles we still found foreign blast material build up in the corner of our eyes, which is probably the easiest way for any poisonous substances to enter the body, next to breathing it in through your nose. There was also was the constant fogging of the lenses, which required frequent removal so we could wipe them down to see again. Then, there was the constant cleaning of the ears. Even with wearing earmuffs to protect our ears from the constant loud noise, blast material always finds its way into the ear canal.
Q: What was the turning point? Was there a specific incident that drove you to change? When did you find out about RPB?
A: It was realizing that without the proper safety equipment I was slowly poisoning my body, which over time could lead to serious health issues and/or even death. The constant bloodshot eyes from blasting were the biggest red flag!
Then there was also the brutal August summer heat here in South Florida. I doesn't matter how physically fit you are, 4 or 5 hours a day, every day, in 100-degree weather will kill you...eventually.
Q: What has changed since you began using the RPB Nova 3 Helmet?
A: Our decision to finally purchase the Nova 3 hood has been one of the smartest decisions we made in business. We no longer have issues with blast grit build-up around the eyes. The bloodshot eyes are no longer an issue. We have taken the biggest and powerful step with regards to our operators’ safety, ensuring best practices for a longer and healthier life when considering workplace environmental impact issues.
The issues of heat exhaustion during the hot summer months have diminished almost entirely. Then there is the long term consideration of hearing loss. The Nova 3 helmet has helped us address this by not only protecting us from the effects of long term exposure to constant high noise levels, but also now keeps our ear canals much cleaner too!
Q: What numbers can you put on your savings?
A: To be honest we have not factored in any potential short term cost savings. Purchasing a Nova 3 hood is really not that much when you compare it to what a basic blast pot and compressor will cost you, but again the real savings are in your health!
Now that we are using the hood full time, every time our compressor gets cranked up I can say that our efficiency and production have increased dramatically. Operator heat fatigue and slowdowns for cleaning lenses have decreased. Blasting is already a dirty job but the implementation of our Nova 3 hood in our daily practice has made it a safer and cleaner job in the areas that matter most, above the shoulders!
Q: If there is another company out there struggling with the challenges you faced before changing, what advice or recommendations would you give them?
A: Do not be foolish with your health and the safety and health of your employees. Goggles, face masks and filters do provide a level of protection but on a scale of 1 to 10... I would put them at best at a level of 4. Utilizing the Nova 3 has brought us to a level of 10! While it did cost me an investment of several hundred dollars, looking back today it really is an investment of pennies when you consider the health and safety benefits being provided.
Do not be foolish and above all always look for ways to not only getting the job done but above all living longer so you can get more jobs done. No job is worth dying for!