This is not a blog. So sue me!

Crikey, things are looking up!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Better protection makes happy workers

The task: grinding out the rotted balsa core under the cockpit of a glass fibre boat. This is the underside of the top of the flotation chamber and is a small cavity about 1x1 metre (3x3 feet) and about half a metre (20 inches) deep. A hole had been cut big enough to get head and shoulders in from the top. Flotation foam removed. Power tools and lights required...

One of the absolute joys of a boater's life is getting all togged up to do boat work. Painting, grinding, cutting, any kind of power tools require dressing up with ear defenders, goggles, breathing mask. These things are hell to wear for a day's work, especially when it hot ('s merely 31 Celsius today - about 88 F). The goggles steam up, everything gets slippery with sweat and it's really horrible. Vision is really very bad, meaning that the work is slower and quality is lower. The time that I can comfortably work in this before a break is about an hour, but it's an ordeal, and I'd feel persecuted if I had to wear this for more than 3 sessions in a day. Total cost of this gear is about $60-100 depending on the quality of the respirator. You always want a really good respirator...

Now we have bought a Triton one-piece system. It is wonderful. It combines eye, breathing, and hearing protection with a hardhat and a hood. Fresh filtered air is pumped in to the top of the head from a fan in the rechargeable battery pack strapped to the waist. It keeps the user fairly cool. Hearing protection is integral attached to the sides of the hat. Very effective and comfortable. They flip up if not needed. The face plate is polycarbonate and gives great visibility. It too flips up if required. It does not steam up even when you get sweaty.The breathing protection doesn't squeeze the face or touch it at all.
Another benefit is that particles of grinding dust or crap do not end up in the hair or stuck to the skin. And the hat will save your head from bumping, always a good thing. It is a little larger than the other outfit, but a lot easier to keep on (straps don't get tangled etc.)
The hood and air tube can be removed if working on something noisy but not dust generating (vacuuming?)
It does cost a lot more, about $220, but I could work in this for 3-4 hours at a time, for a couple of sessions per day. I feel safer and more comfortable and less reluctant to start work.

Buy your good woman good safety gear and you'll get more work out of her!

No comments:


St Lawrence Rowing

Test content from SLRC