Friday, May 25, 2012

ERC Tour 2012 - Rock of Ages

We visited the Rock of Ages granite quarry.  It is awesome to see the 600 foot deep quarry, and the massive pieces of granite that are cut from the earth.  The large blocks of granite are hoisted up to the top of the quarry, where they are cut to smaller pieces. Even these smaller pieces are huge.  After the granite is taken form the quarry, it goes to the factory to be made into a piece of art. Rock of Ages makes many memorials, head stones, and other intricate stone pieces.

We learned about silicosis, a respiratory disease found in the granite workers. The pneumatic drilling operations lead to the increased rate of silicosis in the workers.

After Rock of Ages, we went to the hope Cemetery. This cemetery is a "museum" of ornate headstones. There are elaborate headstones made to represent the hobbies of those who are buried in the cemetery. You can see race cars, soccer balls, airplanes, ad other extraordinary grave markings.

Following lunch, we went to Ben and Jerrys ice cream. A delicious way to end the tour.


Salina said...

I'm very happy to have had this opportunity to participate in this NIOSH ERC tour. Having the opportunity to apply my academic knowledge to "live" work situations is valuable. For instance, the OSHA standard requires the employer to provide hearing protection at noise levels at/above 85 dBA. Prior to going to the Sappi site; I had no idea how loud that actually sounded. There are many instances similar to this that I personally experienced at all of the sites that we visited. I also enjoyed working with the individuals in my group and collaborating with them in researching our respective fields of study for the commercial fishing site. This experience helped me grasp a firm understanding of what is required of each member of the occupational safety & health organization and what is required of me when collaborating with them.

Mr. Rosen thank-you so much for giving me the opportunity to participate in this rewarding opportunity. Without all of the organizing and resources that you provided; this trip could not have been as successful as it was. I look forward to the trip next year!
The faculty that participated in the trip were a huge help in further explaining the processes that we witnessed at each site. They were also very instrumental in helping to gather the required information for our presentations.
Lastly, I enjoyed meeting each and every student on the trip. It's really rare that I'm surrounded by a group of my peers who are aspiring to do the same thing that I set to accomplish professionally. I've also been inspired by the individuals who have gone further than achieving their M.S. degree's and after I graduate next year; I'm going to pursue my phd.
Don't be surprised if you receive a random email from me in the on that bus was very instrumental in this field of study and I'd like to keep in touch. Please also reach out to me anytime. Take Care and God Bless!

Salina Peoples-Igbinoba

Reyes said...

This was a great experience to visit the Rock of Ages who were chosen to create the Atlantic and Pacific Memorial Arches for the National World War II Memorial. I learned a lot about the history of granite mining and how the Rock of Ages Quarry is a superior location where granite is optimum in quality. Safety and health of the granite mining process has definitely evolved positively since the early mining years. As for the Rock of Ages factory, our group were able to view employees perform their typical duties in the workplace. The factory was big and we were able to observe some engineering controls such local ventilation, conveyor belts, and machine guarding. Great american company!

Tarnima said...

Unfortunately this was the last of our ERC Tour. Coming into an IH prohram with no prior experience, this was a GREAT experience. This trip has taught me a lot about anticipating and assessing occupational hazards. You really cannot grasp the reality and variety of safety hazards until you have applied it to real life work operations yourself.

The Granite quarry was amazing. Even though the workers were working hundreds of miles above ground, their engineering and PPE controls seem to prevent any falls. However, I do wonder about HAV and WBV from using the high impact tools. It would be interesting to see incident reports and health records of the workers to get a better idea of the occupational hazards experienced by the quarry workers.

Aresio Souza said...

This was my favorite visit. I had the opportunity to observe many ergonomic hazards at this site. The walkthrough was easy and the guide's explanation of the processes was excellent. The beautiful view of the Quarry was a plus. The brute work to separate the bed sheet rock was improved by the advances of technology, but fine work that is done with these rocks are art at its best.