Video highlighting the hazards faced by welders at Greenbrier

Benchmarking a Best Practice for Welding Safety

Welding Hazards – 3M & Greenbrier Companies: Working together to advance welding safety & worker protection.

  • Video of Dave Harvey, Director of Environment, Health and Safety

    As a leading supplier of transportation equipment and services to the railroad and marine industries, Greenbrier has about 10,000 manufacturing employees. A lot of those positions, like welding and grinding, come with inherent risks. That’s why Dave Harvey, the Director of Environment, Health and Safety, was looking for a way to even the playing field when protecting his employees — from those in higher risk jobs to those in lower risk jobs.

    Dave met with the 3M PPE Safety Solutions Team, and they helped him determine that the best way to maximize productivity and help protect welders’ lungs from welding fumes and other welding hazards was an integrated respiratory protection system. Enter the 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System: a respirator with integrated hard hat, welding and face shield, and optional hearing protection that could increase comfort, protection and confidence. The Adflo™ System wasn’t just going to change how workers were protected — it was going to change the way they worked.

“One of the differentiators for us was the level of service that 3M provided. It felt like they were trying to come up with the best solution for us rather than just selling us something.”

Dave Harvey
Director of Environment, Health and Safety
  • Jake-Martin.jpg  Image Alt Text (Required if Image Used): Video of Jake Martin, Greenbrier welder

    Dave knew that his workers might not be open to change or trying something new, so he asked 3M to help train employees and get them comfortable using the 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System. Their responses were positive from the get-go:

    • Workers really liked the range of vision the system offered in their hectic and hazardous environment
    • The integration of a welding helmet with a face shield was a big hit — saving them the hassle of changing gear between tasks
    • The integrated respirator was a huge deal — no fogging, more comfort and even getting to have some facial hair were big pluses

    Now Dave’s crew can get into tight spaces with less equipment, raise their welding shields in certain locations without risking exposure and work more comfortably for longer periods of time. The benefits of comfort plus added eye protection did not go unnoticed — by other workers or the safety management team. More and more workers started asking for the 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System.

    Greenbrier’s partnership with 3M has given them the confidence of knowing they’re not only meeting the requirements of respiratory protection — they are helping to create better working conditions for their employees. Soon, they’ll be introducing 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Systems to multiple manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico.

“They couldn’t pay me to go back to the old way.”

Jake Martin

3M Technical Service

Contact any of our Technical Service specialists to discuss the system, it’s benefits and how it helps protect against common welding and grinding hazards.

    Cliff Frey
    Heavy Manufacturing Technical Service Specialist
    Mike Hallock
    Welding Technical Service Specialist

Greenbrier safety managers talk about 3M™ Adflo™ PAPRs.

  • Jeff Powell: Weld Tech and Training Superintendent
    Jeff Powell: Weld Tech and Training Superintendent

    "It helps create a great, safe welding environment for our welders."

  • Walt Stokman: Operations Manager
    Walt Stokman: Operations Manager

    “We’ve had really good support [from 3M] — I’ve really noticed that and it’s been appreciated.”

See what welders think about 3M™ Adflo™ PAPRs.

  • Gordie Blair, Greenbrier
    Gordie Blair

    “The peripheral vision, I’ve found, has been particularly helpful. You can see bulkheads, you can see ladders, you can see people moving around you and can see what’s happening around you.”

  • Clint Allen
    Clint Allen

    “It’s comfortable, quick and efficient. I was surprised at how light is was.”

  •  Ian Holden
    Ian Holden

    “It’s really nice in the summer when it’s 100 degrees and you get the nice cold air blowing on you.”

  • Alex Gradnor
    Alex Gradnor

    “The air coming into your hood pushes it into your face, so you are constantly breathing in fresh air."

The 3M™ Adflo™ PAPR systems allow for some facial hair.

Video about how the 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System allows for some facial hair

The 3M™ Adflo™ PAPR systems allow for some facial hair.

Keep your cool. Keep your beard.