Level B Suit Concerns
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, Idaho-AMWTP

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Respiratory Protection, Safeguards and Security, Quality Assurance, Radiation Protection

During the 2011 Fall/Winter and into 2012 Winter, pre-use inspections of suits started identifying several reasons for users to reject suits. The following were the main reasons: Split seams, Cracks and holes, Crushed hoods, and Distorted visors.

AMWTP worked closely with Rich Industries to resolve these concerns. Rich Industries was very responsive to the needs and recommendations identified by AMWTP. Modifications made by Rich Industries increased the reliability of the Level B suits.

In 2013 AMWTP experienced 4 skin contamination events that resulted from work being performed in the Treatment Facility box lines during maintenance and operations entries. In all of these entries contamination was detected on either the inner left and/or right bicep. As a result of these skin contamination events, management called a step back on cell entries until the reason for contamination getting inside the level B suit and transferred to the skin could be identified and corrected. In all four events the workers were of large stature and were performing rigorous tasks inside the box lines that really challenged the performance of the suit.

Lessons Learned: Establish performance test criteria for Level B Suits as part of a quality level program to ensure the safe performance and confidence in the suits for the users.

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