AB Lifosa Protects Workers with Tychem® Garments

When AB Lifosa tested Tychem®  garments supplied by UAB Nota Bene, a Lithuanian distributor of DuPont protective clothing, their results confirmed that employees were kept protected and comfortable throughout the whole working day.

Producing in the region of 800,000 tons of ammonium phosphate and over 70,000 tons of feed phosphates each year, stock company AB Lifosa is one of the biggest producers of phosphoric fertilizers in Europe, and one of the leading chemical companies in Lithuania, employing more than 1,000 workers. The company’s core products include ammonium phosphate and feed phosphates in forms of monocalcium and dicalcium, aluminium fluoride, sulphuric acid and extractive phosphoric acid.

About AB Lifosa

With around 90% of AB Lifosa’s product exported to countries in the European Union and the continents of Asia, Africa and America, it is little wonder that the company has been awarded titles such as "Exporter Of The Year", "Innovator" and "Most Successful Performing Enterprise." The qualitative performance of the company’s diammonium phosphate and monocalcium phosphate have been locally recognised as "Products of the Year" and have received gold medals.

In order to increase its volume of production, whilst ensuring a continually high standard of product, AB Lifosa invests heavily into the improvement of its technical sector. Reconstruction works that were started in 2000 have led to the site becoming the largest producer of sulphuric acid in Europe. To improve energy efficiency, the works have included the use of residual heat (HRS), i.e. heat emission extracted during the production process of sulphuric acid to generate heat and electricity to other areas of the site.

Employee protection

AB Lifosa manages its production according to the Quality Management standard ISO 9001:2000, Environmental Protection Management standard ISO 14001:2004 and Work, Safety and Health of Employees Management standard OHSAS 18001:1999. Through adhering to the requirements of the latest standard, AB Lifosa aims to reduce the risk of exposure of its employees to aggressive and harmful substances as well as improve the general safety of employees working in the production areas. Part of the programme includes the renewal and use of the most effective personal and collective protection equipment.

The production process of fertilisers starts with the production of sulphuric acid, with a concentration of at least 92.5 %. When diluting the sulphuric acid and when involved in other installations where aggressive working conditions and potentially hazardous chemicals exist, employees must be protected with chemical protective garments.

The selection process for chemical protective garments involved a series of trials in which a number of different garments were put to the test. As a result of this testing, it was found that those made from rubber and other materials proved too heavy to wear and offered limited comfort or chemical protection.

When AB Lifosa tested ten Tychem® garments supplied by UAB Nota Bene, a Lithuanian distributor of DuPont protective clothing, the results confirmed that employees were kept protected and comfortable throughout the whole working day. The Safety Work Director at AB Lifosa, Mr K-stutis Brazauskas, said that DuPont™ Tychem® coveralls used to protect workers against exposure to concentrated sulphuric acid were "very comfortable to wear due to their light weight and design features."

Features and benefits of Tychem®

Tychem® coveralls are ideal for use in many industries and applications where people may be exposed to oil, chemicals, biological agents and other hazardous substances. With Type 3 protection (against pressurized liquid chemicals), Type 3-B (against infectious agents), Type 4 (against liquid aerosols), Type 5 (against solid airborne chemical particles) and Type 6 (limited protection against liquid spray), Tychem® coveralls combine lightness, flexibility and durability, thus affording safe and reliable chemical and biological protection in a single garment.

The materials of which Tychem® garments are made have undergone sophisticated testing for chemical permeability and mechanical properties. More than 100 chemicals have been tested in this way by independent bodies and the results indicate that Tychem® materials provide an effective barrier against many highly concentrated inorganic chemicals and organic chemicals.

Tychem® materials meet the requirements of standard EN 14126:2003 (protection against infectious agents) in the highest resistance category and provide protection against radioactive particle contamination according to EN 1073-2. The material has also been subjected to antistatic treatment on the inside, to avoid the build-up of electrostatic charges where humidity exceeds 25%, complying with the requirements of standard EN 1149-5.

AB Lifosa also uses Tyvek®

Following the trial, AB Lifosa also introduced the use of DuPont™ Tyvek® coveralls where there is a need to protect their employees involved in warehousing and spray-painting operations. Users noted that the Tyvek® coverall provided the best fit and design and offered appropriate protection for their workload.