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Giant Industrial Inflatables How to eliminate and the risk associated with the blasting process

How to eliminate and the risk associated with the blasting process

What is abrasive blasting process?

Abrasive blasting is commonly known as sand blasting. It is the operation whereby an abrasive medium is propelled against a surface to clean or modify the surface. It is used in a wide range of industries for many different purposes, including cleaning surfaces such as steel, bricks, cement, and concrete.

This is generally achieved by using compressed air to propel the chosen media through a blasting nozzle. Typically, the size of the medium is like sand and often even smaller.

Blasting is generally performed in enclosed environments like blasting chambers or cabinets, or on open sites, for example on buildings, bridges, tanks, boats or mobile plan.

The main reasons why this is done

  • Remove dirt, staining and corrosion.
  • Clean surfaces after construction.
  • Removal of paint
  • Roughen up a surface to increase the bond performance of paint or surface protectants
  • To smoothen a surface.

Maintaining sandblasting safe practices involves protecting workers from the immediate hazards of the high intensity blasting process,  and the residual toxins released during sandblasting sessions

Hazards to health life and limb associated with the blasting process.

The first step in mitigating risk, is to be able to identify it. This involves finding things and situations which could potentially cause harm to people. Hazards generally arise from the following aspects of work and their interaction:

Common hazards include dusts, noise, hazardous chemicals, and risks associated with the use of plant and equipment.

The process typically produces a large amount of dust from the abrasive, anything on the substrate being abraded, and/or the substrate itself. Where abrasive blasting is used to remove lead-based paint on the steel infrastructure of bridges, it can generate particles of lead that pose a risk to the nervous system. Air compressors are also noisy and hearing protection should be worn.

To make the process safe and reduce the health risk for an operator the operator wears breathing apparatus and protective clothing.

Risks associated with the blasting process

In addition to potential health hazards, abrasive blasting can pose safety risks as well. The creation of a temporary  enclosure to contain the dust cased from blasting is usually done by erecting scaffolding structures that are then covered with a disposable plastic or containment sheeting. Undertaking the erection of such a structure requires working from height and introduces a fall risk. Other risks associated with blasting arise when structures need to be cleaned at height as well as working in tanks and confided spaces and from within industrial. Associated risks close to blasting sites include contamination when dust and waste is not controlled and collected.

Eliminating and minimising the risk

It should always be an operator’s requirement to eliminate risk. Examples of how to eliminate risk

Substitution—minimize the risk by substituting or replacing a hazard or hazardous work practice like building a scaffolding enclosure. This has a high risk profile  involved in working from height when erecting such a structure. An inflatable encapsulating enclosure does the same job of encapsulating but without risk of working from height or waste associated with cladding the structure.

Isolation—minimize the risk by isolating or separating the hazard or hazardous work practice from any person exposed to it. For example, carry out blasting in a blasting cabinet or enclosure. Portable and temporary Inflatable booths are perfect for this and make it easy to isolate the workspace from the general environment.

Engineering controls—engineering controls are physical control measures to minimize risk. For example, use automatic cut-off devices on abrasive blasting equipment, low noise compressors and reusable dust collecting bags.

Blasting shelters  and associated equipment

There are many types of Abrasive blasting systems used to control and contain the dusts and contaminants associated with the sand blasting process. Well-designed systems also take cognizance of human comfort and adequate lighting conditions.

Blasting cabinets are small enclosures that allow a small object to be subjected to high pressure blasts of abrasive materials within a contained and controlled space. A blasting cabinet has the operator located external to the enclosure.

Blasting Booths are walk in enclosures used for abrasive blasting with a low duty cycle of a few minutes and for smaller work pieces. They are designed to prevent fine abrasive material and dust contamination from entering the outside environment. An EzyShelter blasting booth serves a similar purpose but allows an operator to become mobile and still maintain all required safety and environmental standards.

Blasting Rooms  consist of an enclosure that is comfortable for an operator to work in for extended periods of time. It is designed to  prevent fine abrasive material from entering the outside air and includes a system designed to reclaim your abrasive material. After the leftover abrasive is recovered, it is moved to a recovery system that separates dust from the leftovers so the high-quality abrasives can be reused. Giant Inflatables Industrial offers a full range of temporary Inflatable Blasting rooms that offer operators the advantage of being able to set up a blasting room within an existing space and remove it when the abrasive blasting task is competed.

Portable and temporary blasting booths. In instances where fixed structure or machinery needs to be abrasive blasted, temporary enclosures need to be created to contain and collect the dust and particulate resulting from the blasting operation. Inflatable enclosures are the perfect solution for such needs, as they are easy to move, quick to setup, and offer all the safety and encapsulation requirements for a reliable operation. These include perfect encapsulation, natural lighting, good ventilation and environmentally responsible dust collection.

FAQ

Are Inflatable Blasting booths and Blasting rooms reliable?

Inflatable Blasting booths are both safe and reliable as they run on a constant air supply to maintain the frame integrity. So even if accidently damaged they can remain serviceable. They are in constant use by large organizations like Siemens and Origen energy. These companies only use reliable and proven systems. 

What happens if the unit is accidentally blasted?

Each EzyShelter or temporary sandblasting unit we produce has replaceable protective blasting screens that protect the frame from accidental blasting and can be quickly and economically replaced if damaged.

How is a portable unit able to contain the dust?

Our portable and temporary blasting shelters are sealed from the environment when in use by sealed doors and removable flooring that is sealed to the frame. When required we also supply dust extraction systems and reuse dust collection bags.

What happens to the dust after the completing blasting?

When supplied with a dust extraction system the airborne dust is extracted into a reuse dust bag. Dust that falls to the floor is then manually removed before the unit is deflated.

How much power does the fan use?

Each size unit has a different power requirement. Our EzyShelter portable blasting booths use a 1.5kw inflation fan. Larger units will use multiple fans depending on the size of each unit.

What happened if the frame gets damaged?

Our blasting booths maintain their structural integrity by having a fan that constantly supplies air. This means that even is there is moderate damage to the fame it will continue to function. Damage is very easy to repair in a low-tech manner as we supply each unit with a special adhesive that allows you to undertake a repair very quickly and be back in operation in a matter of minutes.

What keeps the booth safe in the wind?

When in use outdoors wind is an important factor in safe operation. Each unit will need to be held firmly on the ground using concrete, steel or sand ballast or pegs into the ground. Our instructions and supplied certification will clearly show the setup methods and the required ballasting requirements.

Are the units guaranteed?

All the products that Giant Inflatables produces carry our TTT [ tried, tested and   trusted] guarantee. We cover all materials, hardware, and workmanship for 18 months.

How compact to they pack?

Each unit we supply, will be accompanied by a full set of setup use and backup instructions. Our EzyStrap bag is a heavy-duty industrial grade storage and carry wrap bag that will always fit your unit no matter how you fold it as long as its packed away in a systematic manner.

 

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