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Advanced OSHA Compliant Blast Cleaning Rooms (No Blast/HM Residue Migration Outside Blast Cleaning Room)


OBJECTIVE: Develop a BCR & BC to eliminate potential exposure to HM in & around the BCR, & BC; identify HM migration pathways out of typical BCR & BC & develop methods to eliminate those migration pathways, or control the potential exposure below the OSHA PEL. DESCRIPTION: The United States Air Force (AF) operates many hundreds of blast cleaning rooms (BCR) and Blast Cabinets (BC) for WS Sustainment. BCR comply with MIL-PRF-32037. The BCR and BC utilize Plastic Media for the removal of organic coatings (ref MIL-P-85891A). Other BCR and BC operations utilize other grit-blasting materials including wheat starch or walnut shells to aggressive aluminum oxide. The blasting operations remove paint top coats, which contain numerous HM, and corrosion prevention primers containing hexavalent chromium (Cr+6). Blasting operations can also liberate Cadmium (Cd) from nut plates and Landing Gear components. The OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) to Cr+6 and Cd is so small that any migration of these metals out of the BCR, and BC, constitutes a potential exposure hazard to the workforce, and an OSHA violation. Abrasive blasting is also used for removing rust, ash, paint, burned-on carbon, scale, and oxidation. The dust and HM in the dust, generated from these, and other blasting processes, create potential health hazards for the BCR and BC operators, and workers in adjacent work areas, and personnel walking through the BCR and BC work areas and other locations throughout the buildings operating a BCR or BC. HM from BCR and BC dust has been found in adjacent break areas, and wash facilities and is a source of potential exposures to personnel walking through these areas. Each of these locations constitutes potential OSHA violations, wherever the BCR and BC dust and HM migrate. The AF has relied on engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and BCR and BC operator training to eliminate, or keep potential exposure to BCR and BC Dust and HM below the OSHA PEL. Standard controls are inadequate to achieve the OSHA PELs for BCR Operators and work area PELs. The AF Air Logistics Complexes were recently inspected by OSHA. OSHA issued several findings regarding BCR and BC exposures and migration of BCR dust and HM outside the BCR. In order to provide our workforce the safest work environment, and eliminate the migration of HM out of the blast processes, the AF seeks to develop the best available controls, including a sealed BCR and BC, to eliminate fugitive Dust and HM migration, including migration of HM by transport on Blast Operators leaving the BCR. This novel BCR and BC will eliminate, or minimize, BCR and BC Operators and the general workforce in a BCR/BC operating facility from potential exposures to airborne blasting dust, and HM removed from substrate structures in the blasting process. Any new BCR or BC operation which has an effect on the WS Structure or part being processed in the BCR or BC must be fully tested for the effect. The testing results must be briefed to and approved by the System Program Office (SPO) for the affected WS. PHASE I: Phase I will evaluate BCR & BC in nonclassified work areas and describe HM migration from BCR & BC causing work area and & adjacent areas'break rooms, wash rooms, change facilities, admin areas'contamination from BCR & BC and propose a Phase II prototype BCR & BC. Phase I will develop methods eliminating BCR & BC operator identified HM migrations and methods to seal BCR & BC eliminating migration of HM BCR & BC. PHASE II: Phase II will develop prototype BCR & BC and demonstrate Phase I proposed BCR & BC comply with MIL-PRF-32037 and applicable parts of OSHA Occupational Health & Environmental Control Std. 1910.94, Ventilation. The Phase II Prototypes will demonstrate ability to keep dust, toxic metals, & aerosols, below their OSHA PELs & validate that dusts andHM do not migrate out of the BCR & BC. Phase II will also identify the actions which could impact WS parts & coordinate testing with AF WS engineers and production engineers. PHASE III: BCRs & BCs will be built; a Mil-Std and an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard will be written and submitted for Advanced Zero Leakage OSHA Compliant BCR & BC. The BCR & BC can be used by DOD, replacing OSHA noncompliant BCR & BC. BCR & BC is applicable in industries using BCR & BC. REFERENCES: 1. OSHA Occupational Health and Environmental Control Standard 1910.94, Ventilation. 2. Performance Specification, Blast Cleaning Room MIL-PRF-32037. 3. Military Specification, Plastic Media, For Removal of Organic Coatings MIL-P-85891A.
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