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Dust – Don’t reduce risk. Remove it!

When it comes to providing a safe working environment, BreatheSafe believes zero exposure to dust is the only way to ensure zero harm. BreatheSafe patented technology has helped it become an industry leader by designing custom air quality solutions for mining, earthmoving, quarrying, and construction worldwide.

One of the most dangerous, long-term health risks in earthmoving, quarrying, and construction is the invisible inhalable and respirable particles found in dust. These particles can stay airborne for over 40 hours in a still environment so they can be breathed in all day, every day. The dangers of inhalable and respirable particles such as silica, diesel particulate matter, and asbestos are well documented and known to be harmful. Their small size allows them to be absorbed directly into the lungs causing irreversible damage and several dust-related diseases.

Most operators working in air-conditioned, pressurised cabins believe that they are protected from these harmful particles as they have nice cold air blasting into their faces. The reality is that a pressurised cool cabin is not an indicator of good air quality. Recently ISO 23875 was released with clear recommendations on how to provide a healthy environment for operators working in enclosed cabins. Most inspectors and health advisories worldwide have already recommended Dual HEPA air filtration as a minimum. Dual HEPA air filtration means both the fresh air and the recirculation air filters should be HEPA grade. If these filters are not HEPA, then contaminated hazardous air is being drawn into the cabin, cooled, and blown directly into the operator’s breathing zone. Brisbane-based BreatheSafe has engineered a range of products that protect operators using controlled high-efficiency intelligent filtration and pressurisation systems.

BreatheSafe has designed cutting-edge control of HEPA filtration technology so workers can operate from within their cabins safely without RPPE. Each system is custom engineered to suit each machine and environment. To reduce filtering and heat load on the system, the intelligent controller INPRESS TS constantly measures the differential pressure between outside and inside, then controls a brushless variable speed motor to maintain a present pressure in the cabin. The system pushes HEPA filtered clean air into the cabin that is constantly bleeding to the atmosphere, ensuring no build-up of CO2.

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In 2012, NIOSH released a paper stating a minimum 10-fold increase in protection factor when machines used a pressuriser with a high-efficiency filter with a high-efficiency return air filter. It is interesting to note that the protection factor of a standard well-fitted dust mask is about 5-10, whereas a pressurised cabin with Dual HEPA filtration is usually well over 1000. For this protection, both the fresh air and the return air sides of the air conditioning system must be HEPA filtered. BreatheSafe is the industry leader in designing customised HEPA return air filter options for most machines in service on Australian sites.

For well over five years, BreatheSafe has been the market leader by ensuring that we incorporate our HEPA return air filtration assemblies into every air pressurisation filtration system that we sell.

Providing a safe working environment is not an added expense. When used correctly, the volume/pressure controlled Dual HEPA BreatheSafe systems will reduce maintenance costs and reduce dust exposure to the operators, the HVAC, and any electrically sensitive components in the cabin. This increases machine availability and reduces the mean time between failure of components.

BreatheSafe is working towards greater sustainability by developing products and systems designed to be in service for the machine’s entire life. They aim to provide systems that will only ever need the filters changed, leading to even more substantial maintenance cost reduction.

For more information call 07 3276 7833 or visit breathe_safe.com.au

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