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Beyond Mobility: Health and Safety Applications at Forefront of AS6228A and AIR6916

Published: April 29, 2024

Using the necessary tools for your work shouldn’t present a safety hazard.

The SAE International EG-1B1 Power Tools – Productivity, Ergonomics and Safety Committee is working to make sure that is true for the aerospace industry. Recent publications AIR6916 – Guide for Safety, Efficiency and Productivity in Buying Power Hand Tools and AS6228A – Safety Requirements for Procurement, Maintenance, and Use of Handheld Power Tools are designed to do just that. 

To ensure accessibility for users at all levels of industry, AIR6916 is designed as an information report for a more general audience, while AS6228A is geared for aerospace safety professionals.

The focus on hand tools came from increased awareness around a disease known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), a neurovascular disease in the hands and fingers resulting from prolonged, intense vibration.

Mark Geiger, retired Industry Hygienist with a focus on eliminating industrial hazards and chair of the EG-1B1 Committee, has helped guide this effort since taking over the chair position in the early 2010s.

“Many people in the field aren’t familiar with this syndrome,” Geiger said. “The U.S. doesn’t regulate hand power tools as opposed to European countries, so this standard creates a balanced way of evaluating power tools.”

The updates also address air quality concerns pertaining to dust control as silica contained in rocks can be inhaled in dust form and cause silicosis, a potentially fatal lung disease.

The goal is to reach professionals outside of safety in health, providing information to those who are engaged in logistics and management. To do so, the SAE committee is working with a wide swath of professionals who have expertise in multiple areas.

“Our approach now is to have an inter-disciplinary logistics committee that allows the engineer and user to coordinate efforts and work together,” Geiger said. “Stovepiped committees tend to omit important things. Working with people outside my area of expertise is very beneficial and it avoids aggravating mistakes.”

In addition to use in the mobility market, this document also has applications for tool manufacturers and users of these devices. Access AS6228A and AIR6916 online today and learn more about the EG-1B1 Committee and how to get involved.