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the Blast Cleaning &
Coating Industry

Blast-One Weekly Tips
Tip #71
Use a good communication system

17 Ways to Blast a Tank

Yes, a good communication system can improve not only efficiency but also safety

When we are blasting ‎or painting, whether it be on a site, in a blasting yard or in a blast room, having a "pot attendant or spotter" to fill, adjust and control the machine means actual time spent blasting or spraying is increased. The problem is that on a site where there are many workers but communication between the site personnel is poor, we may never actually realise our full productive potential.

Poor blaster/painter/attendant communications can often be slow, inaccurate and debilitating. It can lead to frustration and misunderstanding and hinder progress and potentially cause a situation where someone could get hurt. A misunderstood sign between a blaster and the attendant could mean that they are not in sync. Even between one blaster and another any lack of communication can cause time wasting problems and/or physical harm.


Having to bash on the wall of the tank to get your message through or just having to yell above the noise or maybe even having to shut down the blast pot, which can be very, very unsafe, are very primitive ways to work.


Communication difficulties on blasting and painting sites are nothing new. Many blasters carry a hammer in their pocket and hit it on the steel (or hit the nozzle on the steel!) to give you a message (i.e. 1 hit = more abrasive, 2 hits = less abrasive, 3 hits = turn machine off!). This can be very inaccurate.


Not much has changed since American Indian smoke signal days!

How does your blasting operator communicate while he is blasting?

Smart blasters are fitting communication systems inside their helmets so they can speak with each other, the pot tender and/or the job foreman at any time.

A good communication system which connects the blaster/sprayer and their attendant means the operator can blast continuously without any interruptions and increase his productivity by a staggering 21%!

Up to six operators can be connected into a system allowing wide interaction and certainly improving safety and efficiency. With a new system your operator can tell you “just a tiny bit more garnet, Sam, and I reckon I’ll be finished this side in 10 minutes …” or “I can’t get out of the tank as the hatch has blown shut”

A much safer and quicker way to work!

There are many types of communication systems available. A communication system that can be integrated into your blasting/painting helmet without altering the design features of the helmet means workers can enjoy the comfort and safety of their equipment and have essential communication benefits such as:

  1. Telling each other where they are up to
  2. Making sure they don’t bump into each other (especially in badly lit areas)
  3. Ability to quickly advise the pot tender if they have any issues
  4. Requesting an increase or decrease in abrasive/paint flow
  5. Advising when they have come to the end of the length of blast hose
  6. Reporting problems with the deadman system playing up
  7. Keeping up each other’s morale to increase productivity
  8. Advising of breaks for morning tea or lunch


Effortless communication

The RPB® Nova3 TalkTM system is a wireless communication system designed to improve the blasting experience, raise safety levels and further increase the productivity gains. The Nova3 TalkTM enables contact with crew at all times making it ideal for tanks, shipyards, water towers and any sites where operators are out of sight or not easily accessed. Nova3 TalkTM can also be used to enhance operator training.

Greater productivity

The ability to communicate while blasting increases productivity and reduces down-time to a minimum.

Ultimate comfort

The Nova3 TalkTM headset is encased in the pillow foam padding of the Nova3 so there is no change to the comfort that has made the Nova3 the world’s best.


The Nova3 TalkTM System is compatible with most radio systems. Contact the Blast-One customer service team for a list of compatible radio models.


The Nova3 TalkTM system conforms to UL STD 913: certified to CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 157
Note: the system is only intrinsically safe when connected to an intrinsically safe radio handset*.
Waterproof and dust tight. Sealed cable glands and strain reliefs.

Push to talk

The large Push to Talk (PTT) is sealed for safety. The large button is designed for easy activation; The PTT is mounted on a belt clip which swivels 360° so its position can be easily adjusted for ease of use and comfort. The PTT can be belt mounted or mounted to the optional chest harness.


Call Blast-One on 1800 882 229 for more information on a the Nova TalkTM communication system for your blasting operators.

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