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ENGINEERING CONTROLS

worker at table saw with hood and guard

Activities: NIOSH Funded Research Grants

Absorption of Gas Phase Contaminants

Granular activated carbon is the main adsorbent used in respirators for a large number of vapors and gases. Activated carbon fibers present a number of advantages over granular activated carbon, but they are much more expensive. The development of a new activated carbon fibers family using inexpensive glass fibers as a substrate for carbonized phenolic resin makes activated carbon fiber more competitive. The new microporous composite materials, fibrous porous materials, have shown improved adsorption performance over granular activated carbon in the adsorption of a number of compounds. This research will investigate (1) the adsorption characteristics of fibrous porous materials for a number of gases, vapors, and mixtures under dynamic conditions, (2) the applicability of relevant adsorption models to predict the adsorption efficiency and service life of respirators using fibrous porous materials, and (3) the effect of fiber orientation and packing density on the pressure drop and adsorption efficiency of fibrous porous materials.

Project contact: Adele Childress
Office of the Associate Director for Science
(404) 498-2509
Project period: 2005-2008


Control of Workplace Diesel Exhaust Particulate

Diesel engine exhaust contains particulate matter and toxic gases such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Diesel exhaust particulate consists of a black carbon core and adsorbed surface compounds like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitro- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The specific aim of this project is to reduce the risk of lung cancer and other cancers in workers by developing and testing practical technology to control diesel exhaust particulate emissions from workplace machinery. The technology presently available for diesel exhaust, the mechanical filter, is unlikely to be effective on many workplace diesels. This project has four specific objectives: (1) construct an electrical test cell to investigate and establish the voltage/current properties of miniature electrostatic precipitators, (2) build a facility for investigating small diesel engine emissions, (3) construct and test a miniature electrostatic precipitator to control particulate emissions from a diesel electric generator, and (4) use the test results to develop and publish a model for the design of future diesel particulate electrostatic precipitators

Project contact: Adele Childress
Office of the Associate Director for Science
(404) 498-2509
Project period: 2005-2008


Effectiveness of Patient Lift Equipment

This study is evaluating the effectiveness of lift equipment in the prevention of patient-handling injuries at a large care medical center by combining surveillance data of nursing staff over a 12-year period (1997–2008), hours worked, workers' compensation claims, and health care claims through private employer-provided health insurance. These data provide the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of lift equipment placed on all inpatient units through changes in injury rates, lost work days, and workers' compensation costs taking into account temporal trends. Changes in private health care utilization for selected conditions that may fail to be appropriately attributed to work conditions will also be evaluated. The information collected prospectively combined with the retrospective data will allow a very comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of this equipment designed to decrease injuries among nursing staff at high risk of occupational injury from patient handling.

Project contact: Lee Husting, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Coordination and Special Projects
(404) 498-2506
Project period: 2005-2009


Improved Safety and Health In Mining Through Helical Drilling and Rock Bolt Anchoring

A rockbolt hole drilling system based on new Helical Drag Bit technology and new rock bolts will be developed. This system will reduce the risk of catastrophic rock mass failure by improving grouted rock bolt anchoring. The new drilling and rock bolt system will significantly reduce the risk of ground slope failure due to the increased load capacity and higher pullout strength, while reducing total installation and operations costs due to savings in power consumption and speed of drilling. The new system will significantly reduce respirable dust produced during the drilling process, reduce noise emanating from drilling hydraulics machinery through utilization of a new bit design, and incorporate a portion of the drilling process directly into the rockbolt for reduction in installation handling requirements.

Project contact: Adele Childress
Office of the Associate Director for Science
(404) 498-2509
Project period: 2005-2007


Multipurpose Protective Clothes for Emergency Responders

This project aims to develop wearable thermal, biological, and chemical protective clothing materials with enhanced comfort performance for emergency responders. Currently used thermal protective fabrics (Nomex, Kevlar, and PBI) will be the base material, and a coating technology will be employed to coat reusable and rechargeable polymeric oxidizers onto the base fabrics through breathable flame-retardant coatings containing chemical absorbents. This research will (1) screen reusable and rechargeable polymeric oxidizers that can effectively decontaminate surrogates of biological and chemical warfare agents; (2) establish the optimal formulations and technologies to coat the selected polymeric oxidizers onto thermal protective fabrics through breathable, flame-retardant coatings containing chemical absorbents; (3) evaluate the thermal, biological, and chemical protective functions, the mechanical properties, and the comfort performance of the new fabrics; and (4) collect preliminary data to determine the cost of the new approach.

Project contact: Adele Childress
Office of the Associate Director for Science
(404) 498-2509
Project period: 2005-2007


National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative

The goal of this project is to complete and synthesize the knowledge base and build the capacity to mount a national public health campaign to reduce fatalities and injuries related to agricultural tractors in the United States. This project involves the collaboration of all nine of the regional NIOSH Agricultural Centers, the National Agricultural Children's Center, and collaborators at NIOSH. A Leadership Council, including representatives from all of the collaborating NIOSH Ag Centers, will serve to facilitate this effort. At the conclusion of this project, a National Tractor Safety Public Health Campaign will be implemented.

Project contact: Lee Husting, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Coordination and Special Projects
(404) 498-2506
Project period: 2005-2007

Waterjet Scaling for Reducing Scaling Injuries in Underground Mining

The objective of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of using high-pressure waterjet technology to safely remove loose and unstable rock from underground mine openings. The relative effectiveness of various nozzles designs, including continuous, oscillating, and two types of pulsed jets, will be examined. It is believed that the utilization of a properly designed pulsed jet system will provide significant improvements in worker safety. Additional benefits include increased efficiency of high velocity fluid to scour and displace damaged rock and improved performance and adhesion characteristics of shotcrete as a ground support membrane.

Project contact: Adele Childress
Office of the Associate Director for Science
(404) 498-2509
Project period: 2005-2008

 

 
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  • Page last reviewed: August 16, 2013
  • Page last updated: March 4, 2008
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