Monday, June 3, 2013

Carrie Furnaces/Homestead Steel and NIOSH PPTL ERC Tour 2013

Can you imagine 33,000 workers on 480 acres of steel works? That is what Homestead Steel Works was.  At its most productive, Homestead Steel Works produced nearly a third of all the steel used in the United States. The Carrie Furnaces stood at the heart of Homestead Works until 1979. At one time, the furnaces and the steelworkers who labored in them produced more than 1,000 tons of iron a day.  Today, all that is left is the remnants of those days. Homestead Steel Works is mostly on outdoor mall. However, Carrie Furnaces is now an area that can be visited to see the blast furnaces that produced iron. The Carrie Furnaces were built in 1884 and they operated until 1982.  Now they are relics of the past.  Visiting the site we were able to get an idea of what workers did to produce iron for the production of steel.

Then we went to the NIOSH Personal Protective Technologies Lab. Here we visited four labs to see the research NIOSH conducts on personal protective equipment.  The labs we visited are:
Mine Rescue and Escape Training Laboratory (Virtual Reality)
The Advanced Respirator Test Headform
Fit Testing Labs
Sweating Manikin

In each of the labs, we saw some of the latest research conducted to improve how workers can be better protected from hazards, and how PPE can be better constructed to make it more effective for workers.



NYNJERC Blog said...

This was a great tour. The NIOSH researchers have very interesting projects.

Rafid Kakel said...

I was surprised and impressed by the technology at NIOSH research center in Pittsburgh, specifically the sweating manikin and Mr. Able ( another manikin-just the head that is used for respiratory fitness procedures: you have to see it to appreciate it).
Also I felt previliged to visit the only center in the country where commercial respirator get NIOSH approval.
Rafid Kakel 6-2-2013

Sotirios Koupidis said...

Listen to the procedure of making steel was interesting. Seeing the area a great experience. The deer was an artistic outstanding point!
We have so many thinks to learn from the past. And of course don't make similar mistakes in the future.

Sotiros A. Koupidis

George said...

NIOSH site - Lots of good info on PPE particularly respirator fit and testing for certification. The virtual reality demo on mine rescue was very interesting and certainly more realistic than markings on a field.
George Olsen

Anonymous said...

Today's ERC site visit course included a visit to the old Carrie Blast Furnace site and the CDC NIOSH Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.

At the blast furnace site tour we learned about the steel production (& by product slag transfer for later use in cement production), both requiring the use of rail carts, which was the rate limiting step in the plant's efficiency.

At the NIOSH PPTL we were provided a nice overview of its various interests, including in respirator testing as well as in testing of heat stress physiologic responses and thermal resistance properties of uniforms, both in manicans and in normal volunteers.


Ifeanyi said...

Very nice to see the technological advances that NIOSH has embarked on, from the virtual mine mapping to the manican head for respirator fit testing.

Josephine Mayne said...

The work that NIOSH do to ensure the authenticity of product is surely appreciated. I am privilege to have seen it first hand...Thanks