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Safety Products and Services Presented at Seminar.

At a recent seminar, safety product suppliers and service providers discussed health and hazard issues and methods of prevention.

Worker safety always has been a major concern for foundry management. However, having the knowledge of the products and services available to them is not always an easy task.

In an effort to relay such information, 31 industrial magazine editors convened in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 30 for a 1-day seminar called "Safety into the 21st Century," which showcased the latest in services and technological advancements in safety. The eight presentations dealt with industries such as metalcasting, chemical processing, agriculture, food processing, biological, medical and firefighting.

Following are some of the issues, products and services discussed by presenters.

Organization Safety Efforts

In his presentation on balancing traditional and employee-led safety efforts, Tim Hoover, DuPont Safety Resources, explained his company's 24/7 (24 hr, 7 days/week) safety approach. Building on the companies' existing safety efforts, the approach is designed to promote the evolution of interdependent safety cultures and to fill in the gaps in behavior-based safety efforts, as identified by DuPont's research. The company's approach combines behavioral principles with its practical experiences and best practices.

The company spoke with hundreds of customers to determine the implementation challenges and gaps that exist in other, employee-focused offerings. Then, it leveraged the knowledge of the safety experts at the company to find ways to meet these deficiencies.

This approach attempts to include everyone in an organization's safety effort to produce long-term, sustainable improvements in safety performance, productivity and profitability.

According to Hoover, signs of interdependent safety behavior include:

* a strong commitment from top management;

* an understanding of the process and complexity of the operation;

* a personal commitment by employees to safety;

* self-managed individuals;

* procedure-based improvements;

* logic and ideasharing among individuals.

24/7 Safety works if employees target unsafe behaviors, or those that lead to incidents, and if everyone gives feedback on those behaviors, which opens the door to changes, said Hoover. Employees become empowered by this increased ownership, involvement and commitment, and trust and openness increase.

Respiratory Protective Equipment

In his presentation on respiratory protective equipment and its role in the workplace, Lany Janssen, 3M, explained the benefits of such products as positive-pressure headgear and facepieces.

The company's L-Series headgear offers a variety of lightweight, well-balanced and comfortable, positive-pressure respiratory protection. They are available in threeversions--bumpcaps, hardhats and helmets--and each line offers several lens configurations for applications such as grinding, cutting and painting.

The bumpcap version provides limited head protection from minor bumps or floating debris. The hardhat version meets ANSI Type I and II hardhat standards. Both come with a wide-view lens option, offering peripheral and downward vision. Both also are loose-fitting systems for use up to 25 times the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL).

The helmet version, which also meets ANSI Type I and II hardhat standards, surrounds the entire head and comes with a wide-view lens option. This version can be used up to 1000 times the PEL.

All three headgear are compatible with the company's GVP-Series belt-mounted powered air purifying system, which is available with a full range of cartridges and filters for different applications. They also are compatible with its supplied air systems, which allow workers to regulate the airflow as well as cool or heat the air entering the headgear by as much as 50F (10C). In foundries, this comfort device is used for hot environments, helping to reduce heat stress and fatigue. The L-Series delivers air to the back of the headgear so it flows across the wearer's face.

The company's 7800S-BA full facepiece is available in three sizes and is approved for use with three SCBA systems in environments that are immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH). It is made of soft silicone for comfort during long periods of use, features sixpoint adjustable straps to provide a comfortable and secure fit, and has a double-flange face seal that provides fit-test results on a variety of face sizes.

The SCBA systems, which feature the facepiece, include:

* the 2000, which is rated for 30 min of protection for workers in IDLH conditions;

* the 30-min rated SCBAG, which comes stored in a carrying bag that opens to form a vest;

* the Escort ESCBA/supplied air respirator, a combination escape SCBA and supplied air respirator that offers a high level of respiratory protection in confined areas or IDLH conditions.

The availability of both 5-and 15-mm air cylinders allows flexibility for different applications and escape needs.

Hazardous Gas Monitors

The benefits of portable instruments and accessories that help monitor hazardous gases in workplaces such as foundries were discussed by Kent McElhattan, Industrial Scientific. The instruments determine if gas conditions are safe in situations such as a confined space. They use sophisticated, plug-in sensors in various configurations to detect and measure the amount of toxic gas, flammable gas, and oxygen deficiency or enrichment. At preset levels, the monitors go into alarm, alerting workers that they are in a potentially dangerous situation and should leave the area or correct the problem.

Some instrument models have onboard microprocessors for recording information that can later be downloaded to a computer for evaluating and permanently storing data on the gases to which people were exposed.

The LTX312 continuously monitors for combustible gases, oxygen and any one toxic gas including carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide or hydrogen chloride. Ther sensor options offer improved technology for detecting ammonia, hydrogen chloride and carbon monoxide in hydrogen backgrounds. The handheld, portable instrument also features a 90-dB audible alarm, ultrabright visual alarm, one-button calibration, a backlit liquid crystal display, peak/hold memory and external memory option.

It measures 4.75 x 2.75 x 1.65 in., is constructed of stainless steel and weighs 20 oz.

Anti-Vibration Handwear

In his talks on hand and arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), Tom Votel, Ergodyne, described his company's ProFlex 9000 line of anti-vibration gloves. HAVS is a disease that can lead to loss of coordination, muscle disorders and decapitation and, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than half of the 1.5 million American workers who use vibrating tools are affected with some degree of it.

The ISO-certified gloves feature a polymer designed to dampen injury-causing vibration associated with operating vibrating tools, and the line offers half- and full-fingered models, including:

* the 9000 half-finger impact glove with the patented polymer padding in the palm, thumb and index finger extending up to the first joint;

* the 9002 full-fingered anti-vibration gloves featuring ISO-certified polymer in the palm, the fingers, the thumb past the last joint, and on the side palm for added protection when the hand is in a closed position;

* the 9010 half-finger impact glove with wrist support also helps limit wrist flexion;

* the 9012 full-fingered glove with wrist support featuring polymer in the same locations as the 9002 while also limiting wrist movements.

All gloves feature several product design enhancements for added comfort and improved compliance. Made with durable pigskin for improved abrasion resistance, the material now extends over the knuckle area for added protection against daily impact. Breathable spandex stretches across the top of the hand and thumb improving the fit and dexterity of the glove. The keystone thumb design offers a correct, comfortable fit.

Body Fluid Replacement

In discussing prevention methods for heat stress, Tommy Howard, Sqwincher, listed the benefits of his company's electrolyte replacement drink of the same name.

Heatstress is any of a series of conditions where the body is under stress from overheating, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash and heatstroke. Each of these produce bodily symptoms that range from profuse sweating to dizziness to cessation of sweating and then collapse. The conditions originate from several sources such as high temperatures, heavy work loads and the type of clothing being worn. The electrolyte replacement beverage battles this stress, replenishing the salts, minerals and fluids lost due to perspiration and urination.

Compared to pure water, which is absorbed from the stomach slowly and cannot be retained in the extracellular cavity to preserve the proper concentration of electrolytes, the drink is absorbed 98% faster, allowing the body to replenish the electrolytes and minerals needed for rehydration. Plus, the drink is formulated to promote continuous consumption and prevent muscle cramps by providing 50% more potassium and 50% less sodium than other sports drinks used in industry.

The drink also is preferred over soft drinks, which make a person more thirsty because of the extra solute entering the fluid environment surrounding the body cells. This will cause additional fluid to leave the cells, thus dehydrating them even more.

Sqwincher comes in nine flavors and is available in concentrate and ready-to-drink beverages.

The company offers a heat stress analysis CD-ROM, which helps customers determine what kind of program they need for their workers.
COPYRIGHT 1999 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Comment:Safety Products and Services Presented at Seminar.
Author:Bastian, Kevin M.
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
Words:1476
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