Training Center and Apprentices Test Helmet Cam Technology for Measuring Silica Exposure
The Masonry r2p Partnership’s work to improve construction safety and health was recognized in many sessions at CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training’s third annual research to practice (r2p) seminar and workshop. The event focused on research’s positive impact on construction safety and health and highlighted the important contributions of the Partnership, giving a voice to the masonry trades.
Researchers set up the new Helmet Cam technology on BAC Local 18 OH apprentice Caleb DeLaVega before he begins tuckpointing.
With the active support of the Southern Ohio-Kentucky Regional Training Center in Batavia, OH, the Masonry r2p Partnership has been working with NIOSH researcher Dr. Alan Echt and his team to measure silica exposure during tuckpointing in order to find better ways to reduce members’ exposures (see article: http://bacweb.org/journal/2017_01/safety1.php). During a recent round of testing at the Training Center, the Partnership invited a research team from NIOSH’s Mining Division to demonstrate a new Helmet Cam technology developed for mining that has promising applications for construction. The Helmet Cam system consists of a camera worn by a worker along with instruments required for measuring exposure to dust and other hazards, including noise and chemical exposures. For this masonry test, the camera captured a visual of the dust generated by the task while the dust monitor measured the worker’s actual exposure. The two are then linked so the video can be viewed simultaneously with the exposure data. This allows the researchers to not only determine how much dust the worker is exposed to in real time, but to pinpoint exactly where the highest exposures are coming from.
BAC Local 18 OH apprentice Caleb DeLaVega assisted researchers by wearing the Helmet Cam technology for six separate tests. In addition to obtaining useful data, lessons learned about how the Helmet Cam can be used for the first time in construction. Information gathered will enable the Masonry r2p Partnership, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, and the construction industry to identify ways to use this technology to detect and address hazards, and lead to new and better engineering controls or solutions to protect workers.