In-depth survey report: solids materials handling project at 3M Company, Grove City, Ohio, CT-144-11b.
A study was made of the use of a Taunton Engineering Company (TECO) RTS-100 automatic bag opener and a bag compactor to empty carbon black, clay, and other material from bags and to charge the bagged materials into a mixer at an adhesives, coatings, and sealant division of 3M Company (SIC-3069) in Grove City, Ohio. The potential hazards associated with this operation are the exposure to airborne dusts generated through handling of the bags and the physical stresses arising from lifting the 50 pound bags manually. Often, the bags arrive at the facility with a fine layer of dust on the outside of the bag, which generates small puffs of dust in the workers breathing zone as the bags are moved. Occasionally, the bag breaks outside of the bag opener. Dust may also be sent into the air after it has settled on the bag opener, as the machine does vibrate as it operates. A serious source of airborne dust particles arises from the conveyor belt, particularly at the point where it turns over to return to pick up another dust covered bag. Concerning the weight of the bags, both an action limit (AL) and a maximum permissible lift (MPL) limit have been established. The AL is computed to be 13 kilograms (kg) and the MPL is 39kg. The weight of the bags is usually about 23kg. The study showed that the TECO RTS-100 automatic bag opener and its trash compactor did not create dust emissions, with the exception of the dust emitted at the inlet to the system.