Parker team members around the world innovate to develop custom solutions that lead to a better tomorrow—a smarter, safer and more sustainable tomorrow. And that means working closely with customers across many different industries to help solve their own unique challenges.
Take the construction industry for example. Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is a hazardous substance found in bricks, clay, concrete, mortar, rock, stone and many other materials common to construction sites. Workers who drill, cut, crush or grind these materials need protection from inhaling superfine RCS dust, typically one hundred times smaller than ordinary sand found on beaches or playgrounds. Once released into the air, these particles can easily be inhaled and embed deep into the lungs and have been associated with chronic disabilities and various forms of lung disease.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to RCS risks at work. In 2017, OSHA created a new standard to address the problem of silica dust control associated with pneumatic jackhammer and breaker operation.
For Parker’s Hose Products Division in Wickliffe, Ohio, the situation presented a unique engineering challenge: Could Parker design a solution that improves worker health and safety, reduces lost time incidences and health care costs and help its customers—construction contractors and jackhammer operators—adhere to OSHA regulations?
The answer came in the form of Parker’s Twinhammer™ Hose and Spray Kit System, the first factory-assembled dual hose system to deliver both air and water in a single unitized configuration for dust suppression in heavy duty air tool applications. Its bonded rubber lines are permanently and continuously joined for easy installation and safe handling. A factory split-back at each end allows for easy attachment to compressors, water supply and jackhammers. Most importantly, the Twinhammer hose makes it simple and efficient for jackhammer users and their employers to meet the requirements of the new regulation.
“Parker dedicated more than a year working to alert and educate our customers, distributors and others in the market to the issue, both before and after the regulations were implemented,” explains Ronald Moner, P.E., Engineering Manager at Parker’s Hose Products Division. “We are committed to increasing awareness and encouraging a culture of safety, and will continue to educate contractors and government agencies on how RCS risks can be reduced by deploying the appropriate workplace methods recommended by OSHA.”
To date, Parker has partnered with OEMs and equipment rental companies to update their tools with wet-method capability built into their designs, and is also working with state agencies to prototype a jackhammer wet method retrofit program.
Both the solution itself and Parker’s leading role in proactively addressing the dangers of RCS dust demonstrate the power of Purpose in Action. We will continue to seek out the engineering challenges with broad implications in the real world—and welcome the next opportunity to create a better, safer tomorrow.