Solution Summary: Hand-held Rotary Bristle Power Tool
The hand-held rotary bristle power tool is an engineering control that may help reduce injuries related to stressful hand and wrist activities. The tool removes corrosion and cleans surfaces in one step, similar to sandblasting methods.
The hand-held rotary bristle power tool operates at approximately 3,500 rpm and can clean metal to a near-white/white appearance without grinding or polishing (Figure 1).
The electric model weighs 4 lbs. and the pneumatic model weighs 2.4 lbs. Rotary wheels for the tool are available to remove corrosion or adhesives, and to clean welds. Additionally, the hand-held powered rotary wire bristle is available with a dust collection system.
Figure 1. The hand-held rotary bristle power tool in use.
Stressful hand & wrist activity and awkward hand and wrist postures can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Stressful hand and wrist activities can cause muscle strains; tendonitis, which is inflammation of elbow and wrist tendons; or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is compression of a wrist nerve, resulting in finger numbness and loss of hand strength. The hand-held rotary bristle power tool is designed to operate at reduced RPM and has an inline handle design allowing the tool to be controlled with less force and wrists in a more neutral position. Reducing muscle force and awkward positions of the wrists may reduce MSDs of the hand and wrist.
How Risks are Reduced:
The hand-held rotary bristle power tool allows an operator to clean corrosion, adhesives, and coatings with a neutral wrist position and reduced stressful hand and wrist activity.
The manufacturer states that the hand-held rotary bristle power tool's “in-line design allows for increased control during surface preparation.” Additionally, the manufacturer states, “the low operating speed and the light construction ensure a high degree work safety and easy, flexible handling.”
Safety and health experts believe that minimizing stressful hand and wrist activity in awkward postures may reduce the risk of injuries to the hand and wrist (Bernard et al. 1997). The hand-held rotary bristle power tool may reduce forceful hand and wrist exertions in awkward postures due to the tool's in-line handle design and reduced rpm.
Effects on Productivity:
The hand-held rotary bristle power tool may increase productivity by reducing worker fatigue while performing surface preparation.
Personal protective equipment should be worn when operating the hand-held rotary bristle power tool. This includes safety goggles, gloves, and respirators. When removing lead-based coatings please follow the OSHA lead standards.
This tool exposes operators to hand-arm vibration. The tool produces a maximum frequency rated acceleration of 3.09 m/s/s. This acceleration value suggests that the tool could be used for approximately 1.5 hours before reaching the exposure action value. However, the tool was not in contact with materials when acceleration was measured, so the safe use time is expected to be less.
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; and Jonathan Braun, SPT – Eastern Washington University
- General Labor
- Prepare surfaces with hand tools