Always time for safety, ingenuity

In the midst of a maintenance and refueling outage and dealing with the daily challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be easy to understand how one could develop task-at-hand tunnel vision.

But there’s never a time when PSEG Nuclear employees aren’t prioritizing excellent safety performance and devising ways to innovate and optimize wherever possible.

Take Salem 12-Hour Maintenance Controls Technician Tom Snorf, who has more than a full plate waiting for him each night when he processes through the site’s temperature screening checkpoint for his shift.

Assignments complete, Snorf returns home and, by day, has been busying himself with the design and production of a personal protective equipment modification that enhances the cloth face coverings/masks workers are required to wear.

Snorf recognized the masks had the potential to conflict with his safety glasses, as his breath would occasionally fog the lenses. To address the issue, he took some initiative, fired up his very own 3D printer and fabricated a noninvasive clip that, when adorned, maintains a tighter seal around the nose. As a bonus, the ingenious device even makes the masks more comfortable.

Snorf churned out hundreds of clips, brought the brainstorm to supervision and shared the safety solution with his peers.

Similar, in a number of ways, to the type of selfless effort put forth by Salem Engineer Josh Peditto, who, like Snorf, prioritizes the safety of his teammates and knows his way around a 3D printer.

In talking with his group and referencing a bit of benchmarking, Peditto felt he could move the “ear savers” idea from concept to reality. This nifty bit of manufacturing assists workers wearing masks by removing some of the pressure on the ears without compromising the fit and integrity of the covering.

“Knowing that I was able to alleviate some discomfort was very rewarding,” says Peditto. “If I helped eliminate even one distraction, that’s a win.”

Both adaptations meet the criteria of the organization’s rigorous safety protocols and equipment requirements.

Excellent outside-the-box approaches!

Matthew Chimento, Lead Writer - PSEG Nuclear

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