BELLWOOD, Pa. – The Mobile Air Shower by HalenHardy (MASHH), which removes hazardous crystalline silica from workers clothes during industrial operations, won the inaugural Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation Commercialization Center (SGICC) Environmental, Health and Safety Award at the Shale Insight Conference.
The MASHH Mobile Air Shower is a health and safety engineering control that proves valuable during various industrial activities that produce respirable crystalline silica, including hydraulic fracturing operations; completions operations utilize thousands of tons of silica sand at each frac site.
HalenHardy launched MASHH at the industry-wide Shale Insight Conference and Technology Showcase sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition and SGICC, where it was chosen as the Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) Technology Innovation of the Year.
"We were very excited to award HalenHardy our first annual EH&S Award," commented Bill Hall, Executive Director of SGICC.
"In SGICC's role as essentially a technology scout for all technologies being developed to impact the shale gas play, we review literally hundreds of new technologies every year. It was our opinion that MASHH technology stood out as something needed by the industry, and the HalenHardy team expeditiously developed a commercially available cost effective solution to a worker health challenge facing the industry. It is paramount to the success of the shale gas industry that they operate in an environmentally responsible, safe manner, and the health and safety of their workforce must always be a priority."
"We are greatly honored to accept this prestigious award that recognizes our contribution to worker protection from respiratory crystalline silica dust," said Donny Beaver, HalenHardy CEO and Co-founder. "I accept this award on behalf of our entire team who have worked for over a year to develop a mobile system for use at well pads, mines, sand blasting areas and virtually any construction area that is prone to excessive dust."
When respirable crystalline silica, which is invisible to the naked eye, is inhaled, serious-- sometimes fatal -- illnesses such as silicosis, tuberculosis infection and kidney disease may result.
When workers wear silica-contaminated clothing, respirable crystalline silica is constantly being released as they move about, and remains in their breathing zone where it can be inhaled, ignoring contaminated clothing or using ineffective clothes cleaning methods, increases the workers' risk of developing silicosis.
HalenHardy Chief Scientist and Director of Silicosis Prevention Advisors, Bob Glenn notes, "When dust-covered workers go on break, we've observed that they almost always do two things. First, they remove their respirator. Next, they slap the dust from their shoulders, chests and arms. This is a very hazardous practice that increases their personal exposure."
When working around silica sand, this slapping action can liberate millions of microscopic crystalline silica particles directly into a worker's breathing zone. Studies performed by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reveal that worker exposures can increase significantly through this seemingly-innocent "hygiene" practice, increasing exposure levels by 1,000% to 1,600%*. To avoid these over-exposures, workers should clean their clothing at each break period before they remove their respirators.
The vast majority of companies engaged in industries using crystalline silica do not utilize "best practices" for their employees' clothes cleaning. The observed and documented practices include:
- Doing nothing and wearing contaminated clothing during breaks and on the way home
- Using a HEPA filtered manual vacuuming process which is time consuming and costly
- Using compressed air nozzles for manual blow-off which is hazardous and is prohibited in OSHA's proposed silica rule.
Because a MASHH cycle takes less than 30 seconds, a single unit can process an entire workforce quickly. Because the MASHH unit is mobile, units can be installed quickly and economically.
Beaver noted that respirable crystalline silica jobsite remediation has taken on particular urgency with OSHA's August 23, 2013 proposed rulemaking that would cut allowable workplace silica dust exposure levels in half.
"While the industry is taking steps to address worker exposure, employers and workers need to remember that respirable crystalline silica particles are almost as light as air and will always find the holes in engineering controls," Beaver added. "In fact, silica sand abrades and wears out engineering controls, creating holes and leaks. The silica sand mining industry has found that respirable silica dust has a way of cropping up where you least expect it, exposing workers in the process. It's just the nature of the beast. The MASHH unit is essential to address worker hygiene and health practices, which will always be a necessary component to a comprehensive Silicosis Prevention Program."
"We are grateful for the pioneering work of NIOSH and the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA) over the last 35+ years to help substantially reduce worker exposures to respirable silica in industrial sand mines," said Beaver. "While industrial sand mines are permanent in nature, that pioneering work can and has served as a foundation and inspiration for the development by us and others of innovative respirable silica worker protection systems for the highly-mobile hydraulic fracturing industry."
Alex Moore, HalenHardy VP of Sales, notes, "Our program can be custom tailored to each client. We offer short-term rental, long-term leases and purchase options for MASHH units."
"Industry will be seeking silica remediation solutions that are effective, practical and affordable," Beaver concluded. "We believe the MASHH Mobile Air Shower is exactly that."
The HalenHardy team would like to thank the scientists, engineers, consultants and countless individuals who helped the MASHH Mobile Air Shower by HalenHardy come to fruition.
About HalenHardy, LLC
HalenHardywas co-founded by Donny Beaver and Carl Cohen in January 2013 to focus on health and hygiene products and services that protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
HalenHardy has two main divisions:
- The Products Division (www.mashh.com) developed MASHH (Mobile Air Shower by HalenHardy) to reduce worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica by removing dust from worker clothing in less than 30 seconds per employee.
- Chief Scientist Bob Glenn, M.P.H., CIH directs the HalenHardy Silicosis Prevention Advisors
The HalenHardy corporate office and manufacturing facility is proudly based on Main Street in Bellwood, PA, equidistant from the Marcellus Shale's two most active areas, Canonsburg and Towanda.
About The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (www.sgicc.org)
SGICC, an initiative of Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP (http://www.cnp.benfranklin.org), is designed to harness innovation and new technologies as a means to maximize the economic return to Pennsylvania's citizens from the various shale formations comprise part of the energy reserves of the Commonwealth. The Center also identifies, supports and helps commercialize technologies and early-stage businesses that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing this transformative energy asset.
*Cecala A B, O'Brien A D, Pollock D E, Zimmer J A, Howell J E, McWilliams L J, 2007. Reducing respirable dust exposure of workers using an improved clothes cleaning process. Int J of Min Res Eng, 12(2) 73-94. (Atilim University Press).
For more information on the MASHH Mobile Air Shower by HalenHardy, contact Donny Beaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 814-571-9779.
Co-Founder and CEO
Web Site: http://www.mashh.com