A guide to Improving Sandblast Operator Comfort
One key factor in helping your sandblast operators production level is helping them to be as comfortable as they can during blasting. After all blasting can already be monotonous and challenging so why not try to make it comfortable for the blast operator? Below we will discuss ideas to help improve your blast operators comfort which should ultimately help you maintain higher levels of sandblast production. You can also learn about other factors to improve sandblast production in this article.
Tip 1 – Climate Control
If you are relatively new to sandblasting operators will sometimes not know that there are options to provide both heated and cool air (or both) to the blast operator. These units are typically called climate control tubes and utilize compressed air to provide a cool/warm/ or either warm/cool air flow inside your blast operators blast helmet. By keeping the hood more comfortable based on whether it is cool or hot outside the blast operator will be able to stay comfortable while they work. One important fact to know when you are selecting a climate control tube is that the tube will require additional air compressor capacity, typically in the 20 – 22 CFM range. Depending on your compressor and sandblast nozzle size this additional air requirement may be problematic so you do want to confirm that you will have the necessary compressed air to supply the cool air tube.
Tip 2 – Operator Protective Gear
While many blast operators will often be wearing a pair of jeans and sweatshirt, there are options out there that will better deflect blast media as well as allow the operator to not be excessively hot or cold. For cooler weather or maximum protection, you can consider a heavy duty blast operator outfit. They are typically made of leather which helps deflect blast media and allows the operator to blast without being bothered by the blast media being bounced off of them. If the weather is warmer or you want a blast suit that is lighter for maneuverability you could consider a light duty blast operator outfit.
Tip 3 – Blast Hose Configuration
Controlling the blast hose for long periods of time can be one of the hardest parts of blasting. The larger the blast hose is in diameter as well as the material the hose is made of contribute to blast hose weight as well as ease of control. While you often times will want to use a heavy duty blast hose to help improve the life of the blast hose, you can use a whip hose which is a small section (usually 10 – 15 feet in length) of blast hose that is the last part of the blast hose. This whip can be made of lighter weight hose material that is more flexible , like Clemco Supa blast hose.
Tip 4 – Blast Helmets
There are a variety of blast helmet options available today. Different options allow for different benefits from better visibility while blasting to better comfort when being worn. Certain blast helmets may have different internal webbing options that are designed to provide added comfort (which you will typically want to allow the blast operator to try to determine if they find it more comfortable).
Tip 5 – Blast Pot Configurations
Certain blast pots will have different features that can provide easier maneuverability. For example a Contractor Blast Pot has a second set of wheels compared to a classic blast pot which provides greater stability and ease of movement in the field. If you think you will be maneuvering with your sandblast pot fairly often, it can be a good idea to consider a contractor style pot that will provide better mobility.
Ultimately sandblasting is not easy, spending hours cleaning metal and holding heavy hose can be hard. To help improve operator comfort you can consider the tips discussed in this article, which by helping the blaster be more comfortable they should be able to work more effectively.