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Ergonomics of abrasive blasting: a comparison of high pressure water and steel shot.

Authors
Rosenberg-B; Yuan-L; Fulmer-S
Source
Appl Ergon 2006 Sep; 37(5):659-667
NIOSHTIC No.
20031338
Abstract
Abrasive blasting with silica sand has long been associated with silicosis. Alternatives to sand are being used increasingly. While NIOSH has done extensive investigations of the respiratory effects of the substitutes for sand, the ergonomic effects of the substitutes have not been examined. Too often, hazards are shifted, and technologies that might save workers' lungs could do so at the expense of their musculoskeletal systems. Hence, the objective of this study was to examine the ergonomic effects of alternatives to sand. Multiple methods, both qualitative and quantitative, were used to yield numerous kinds of data for the analysis of exposures to abrasive blasters. PATH, a method for quantifying ergonomic exposure in non-routine work, was combined with interviews with workers, biomechanical modeling and noise level readings to assess the ergonomics of two abrasive blasting operations: high-pressure water and steel shot. Advantages and disadvantages of each medium are discussed. High-pressure water was slightly less ergonomically stressful, environmentally cleaner, much quieter and less dusty that steel shot, and it was reported to be slower on those tasks where both media could be used.
Keywords
Sand-blasters; Sand-blasting; Silica-dusts; Silicates; Ergonomics; Health-hazards; Musculoskeletal-system
Contact
Beth Rosenburg, ScD, MPH, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111
CODEN
AERGBW
CAS No.
7631-86-9
Publication Date
20060901
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
beth.rosenberg@tufts.edu
Funding Amount
162000
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-K01-OH-000175
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0003-6870
Source Name
Applied Ergonomics
State
MA
Performing Organization
Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
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