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Vibration-Reduced Chipping Hammers Increase Worker Safety for Steel Caster.

For Sivyer Steel Corp., a 300-employee steel caster in Bettendorf, Iowa, ergonomics issues have become an important concern. By producing castings from 5-20,000 1b, the foundry has learned to focus on safety measures in all its processes.

In May, this steel caster made another investment in safety and health with the addition of three more vibration-reduced Chipping Hammers from Honsa Ergonomic Technologies, Inc., Rock Island, Illinois. Since 1990, the foundry has purchased 22 hammers for use on its large agricultural and industrial steel castings in the finishing and refractory areas.

"We still have a few of the old type of hammers around, but the men always choose the Honsa hammers," said Curtis Lewis, general foreman at Sivyer Steel. "It's definitely easier on the guys to work with every day."

The chipping hammer's vibration reduced system is based on isolating the operating barrel or motor from the hands and arms of the operator. By installing a polyurethane vibration damping polymer between the tool and the operator, an isolation system is established to protect the user.

According to the manufacturer, in a comparison performed by a workers' compensation group, an old style chipping hammer generated 100 m/[sec.sup.2] of vibration, while the vibration-reduced hammer produced 9.7 m/[sec.sup.2].

Sivyer Steel's goal was to reduce the cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, vibration white finger and hand-arm syndrome that are prevalent with vibration-intensive, manual labor. But the foundry also didn't want to sacrifice quality. In a study by a Midwest Univ's Dept. of Bioengineering, it was determined that the vibration-reduced chipping hammer's efficiency was virtually double non-vibration damped tools.
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Comment:Vibration-Reduced Chipping Hammers Increase Worker Safety for Steel Caster.
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
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