Safe & sound

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While IWF 2008 put the spotlight on innovative machinery, there were dozens of exhibitors touting safety, including products that prevent loss of hearing, injury to the eye and damage to the lungs.

For example, the booth of Trend Routing Technology featured the company’s Airshield Pro face shield, which protects woodworkers from inhaling harmful dust with its twin filters and a built-in fan that circulates a constant flow of filtered clean air. Featuring a replaceable polycarbonate flip-up visor, it also protects the face from flying debris. The Airshield Pro is supplied with two filters and a battery charger, and is priced from $399.

“What price do you put on your health?” asks Paul Bailey, marketing manager for Trend. “Investing in a face shield may seem a costly extravagance, but with a filter efficiency of 98 percent now available, the machining of MDF now becomes a pleasure, rather than a chore.”

Ever wonder how much noise is produced in your shop? Etymotic Research presented the ER-200 Personal Noise Dosimeter that measures sound levels over several hours and calculates cumulative noise exposure. The portable device sells for about $100.

“The Etymotic Personal Noise Dosimeter takes the guesswork out of protecting your hearing,” says Mead Killion, founder and president of Etymotic Research. “Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, but most people do not know how long they can listen to loud sounds without risking damage to their hearing. Over time, damage to the inner ear from noise adds up and can result in permanent damage.

“In most cases, the accumulation of too much noise day by day, year after year, is what leads to hearing loss. A person’s daily noise dose is determined by both the intensity of the sound and the amount of exposure time. While a sound-level meter measures noise at a particular point in time, a dosimeter measures sound over the course of many hours and calculates the cumulative noise dose.”

Aearo Technologies, a 3M company, presented the Swerve Banded Hearing Protector, which blends ergonomics with performance for stylish, yet effective banded hearing protection. A streamlined design helps eliminate contact with collars and headgear so the band stays in place. The adjustable band slides forward and back for custom neck and ear positioning, and is flexible for frequent on-and-off wearing. Various tips are available for that custom-comfort fit inside the ear opening.

The Duluth Trading Co. presented Sunrise Safety Glasses for protection indoor and out. The glasses are photochromic, which means they are clear when you’re inside and turn dark when you’re outside to cut the glare and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. The glasses also feature rugged wire frames and shatterproof polycarbonate lenses.

A better bandage was also touted. The KytoStat, from HemCon Bandages, is a bandage of naturally occurring chitosan that controls bleeding and is proven to be 30 times more effective than other blood-stopping technologies, according to the company.

Shop organization
IWF 2008 also featured shop organization products, including Wall Control’s wall-mounted shelf and storage system, which is basically an alternative to traditional pegboard. It features strong, steel panels and a durable powder-coated finish offered in a variety of colors. A complete line of hooks, brackets, shelves and accessories are available for a custom shelving setup.