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

Published Monday 3 Jul, 2017 by Peter Woodford

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

The following white-paper discusses some of the 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- see also our below white-paper-  Driver Fatigue (and Distraction).

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 (upto 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 on- going 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.

See these links for: