Whitepaper: Breathing Easy- Airborne Particulate / Fibre Exposure- Enclosed Cabins of Mobile & Fixed Plant

The following Technical White-paper - 2020- Breathing Easy in the Workplace- Enclosed Cabins. discusses some important issues and mitigation requirements for Enclosed Cabins of Fixed and Mobile Plant containing occupants, with the implementation of a properly designed Cabin Pressuriser and Filtration System. The importance of providing a Quality Cabin Environment can not be understated, when it comes to Exposure to Airborne Particulate and Fibre as well as Co2 Concentration inside the Cabin.

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Extensive Tests, Studies and Reports worldwide have proven that Enclosed Cabins potentially increase the risk of Exposure to Airborne Particulate and Fibre (and fatigue) for Drivers / Operators.

Hyperlinks to studies, reports, reference and statistics are embedded in the white-paper, with some aspects highlighted:

  • Ingress of Particulate not only harms Cabin occupants- but also is the primary cause of HVAC System failure.
  • Recirculation Air filtration of entrapped / concentrated contamination inside the Cabin is just as critical as filtration of the External Air supply.
  • Cabin Sealing / Pressurisation is essential (>80 pascals) to keep out contamination, but Ventilation (leakage) of Air Flow out of the Cabin (up to 20 L/sec according to AIRAH) is critical so as to off- set Co2 which can rapidly cause Driver / Operator Fatigue within minutes. A "tighter" Sealed Cabin can create additional OH&S risks to the Occupants.
  • HEPA >H13 Filter Media  Filtration arrestance is required for known Particulate and Fibre carcinogens such as RCS, DPM, Asbestos, etc. HEPA media is very restrictive (99.97% at >0.3 micron), allows low air flow, load very quickly, are expensive so it is essential the longest service life is attained- whilst Compliance for Filtration, Cabin Pressurisation and Ventilation are maintained in between filter exchanges.
  • Allowable Exposure Limits are reducing (eg RCS to be reduced from 0.1 mg / m3 (8 hours working shift) to 0.05 mg / m3-  so will your expensive Filtration / Pressuriser System designed to be compliant into the (near) future?
  • Monitoring and Exposure data collection is required to ensure continued management and validating of ongoing compliance via Telemetry.
  • A properly designed Cabin Pressuriser / Filtration System will not only provide protection of your Human Assets (and increase Productivity) but also substantial ROI with reduced Maintenance / Cost - downs in HVAC component failure, Cabin Internals, Electrical, Instrumentation, etc.