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The main goal of this project is to provide much better personal protective equipment (PPE) to improve worker safety and food safety in meat and poultry processing. The objectives include (1) bio-aerosol protection for workers and food and (2) other protection for a worker's entire head including impact head protection, face/eye protection, optional ear protection and respiratory system protection.This project has a long list of bio-aerosol objectives (1) for better worker and food safety because many of the bio-aerosol mitigation objectives were the focus of a USDA/NIFA SBIR project for Covid-19 bio-aerosol protection which requires a very high efficiency air filtration PPE to prevent spreading Covid-19. Many human and animal pathogens and bio-aerosol hazards to food are larger aerosols so the objective to provide a very wide range bio-aerosol hazard protection is logical for worker safety and food safety in meat and poultry processing. The bio-aerosol objectives include providing (a) worker generated bio-aerosol protection for fellow workers to prevent person to person spread of disease, (b) worker generated bio-aerosol protection for food from sneezing, coughing, talking, etc. and (c) animal generated bio-aerosol protection for workers. These bio-aerosol objectives will make sure any future pandemic or biological hazard has minimal impact on meat and poultry processing. To meet these objectives the product will provide 10-100 times the worker bio-aerosol safety and 2-50 times the food bio-aerosol safety compared to many other combinations of current PPE. This project has a long list of other worker protection objectives (2). The (a) ruggedness and reliability with a long operating life and long shelf life means the PPE will also always be ready for a pandemic, disease outbreak, or almost any daily use for airborne hazards. This could also help protect most of the critical agricultural supply chain leading up to meat and poultry processing. This may include high level bio-aerosol protection for manure processing, cleaning livestock areas, disease outbreak response, and many other farm related bio-aerosols effecting supply chains leading up to meat and poultry processing. It is also very important to make the PPE so comfortable (b) that many meat and poultry process workers will prefer to use it regardless of requirements. The meat and poultry processing employee comfort also supports the project objective for better worker safety with (c) a hardhat system that has a visor that has a wide view angle that never fogs or frosts and a light hardhat that never shifts around with movement. Worker comfort also requires (d) easy talk and listen communication that is also important for worker safety. (e) The new PPE will also be compatible with comfortable hearing protection when needed. The PPE comfort objective is also very important replacing face filter masks to improve food safety with better bio-aerosol control and no itchy face filter mask that requires frequent re-adjustments that compromises food safety.All the objectives support the main goal that is to provide much better personal protective equipment (PPE) to improve worker safety and food safety in meat and poultry processing.

Hansen, B.
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