Blast Booth Noise Reduction - An OSHA Compliance Issue

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8222-14-M-0005
Agency Tracking Number: F131-199-2424
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2014
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-199
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
Figure Engineering, LLC
9208 Venture Ct, Unit C-9, Manassas Park, VA, 20111-
DUNS: 832952324
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Leonard Jr.
 Chief Engineer
 (804) 852-5520
Business Contact
 Leonard Jr.
Title: Owner
Phone: (804) 852-5520
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The objective of this proposal is improve the safety of employees working in or around compressed air delivery blast cleaning rooms (BCR) and blast cabinets (BC) by decreasing the levels of noise exposure to below the OSHA 8-hour Time-Weighted Average (TWA) while maintaining or decreasing ergonomic stress burdened by the operators and maintaining or increasing productivity. This research will focus upon decreasing operational noise levels in and near the blast cleaning enclosures (BCE), which includes abrasive media blasting, cleaning of the substrate post-blasting, and maintenance procedures such as media cleanup. The Figure Engineering research team will explore methods to reduce the noise for manned, semi-automated, and fully-automated blasting operations. The innovative methods for reducing noise exposure will not increase operator ergonomic stress that is currently endured by handling heavy and stiff media/air delivery hoses. BENEFIT: A 2010 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that severe hearing impairment (SHI) among Department of Defense (DoD) personnel is the most common type of service-related disability and is growing. In fiscal year 2009, 1.2 million veterans were compensated $1.1 billion for hearing-related disabilities. The findings of this research will benefit the Air Force (USAF), the DoD and, ultimately, the non-defense industrial base (NDIB) by developing methods and practices to significantly mitigate hazardous noise generated by abrasive media blasting operations. Blast cleaning operations are widespread throughout all Services, and therefore all Services share the monumental financial burden of compensating veterans for hearing-related disabilities sustained on the job.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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