3M has introduced a new respirator that uses RFID technology to ensure that the safety equipment is functioning at its proper levels. The new respirator, which is distributed by 3M’s Occupational Health and Environmental Safety division, is equipped with RFID tags and accompanying software that enables employers to monitor the device’s cleaning, maintenance and inspection schedule.
The RFID-enabled respirators integrate 3M Track and Trace RFID technology and software to create a “Smart Safety Management System.” Using the system companies can keep tabs on whether their employees are cleaning and maintaining safety equipment as required. This ability to track and analyze how employees maintain safety equipment gives safety managers and industrial hygienists a tool to help enforce compliance with safety guidelines, resulting in a safer workplace.
One early adopter of the new system is the Colden Corporation, providers of occupational health, safety, industrial hygiene, risk management and environmental consulting services. A spokesperson for Colden reports positive results from the new 3M respirators and their accompanying electronic record-keeping system, which have enabled the company to track more safety-related respirator maintenance activities, with better accuracy and in less time.