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Better Inhalation for cement workers at loni station - Design for special needs

-Mitika Kabra ug sem7 -guided by prof. dhimant panchal

Acknowledgement I am a part of all whom I have met. -Anonymous I thank all the cement workers for their co-operation for giving interviews and trying the masks for validation. I thank my professor Mr. Dhimant Panchal for his inputs. I also thank my friends with whom I discussed theproblems whenever I felt I was stuck. I also thank , Sudharshan tailor, loni for giving me some more clarity about the lifestyle of the cement workers.

contents • Introduction • Mind mapping/Brainstorming • Data collection • Questionaire • Specific problem statement • Inspiration • Materialrequirements • Design criteria • Concepts • Validation • Further detailing and improvements

Introduction Cement handlers face occupational diseases of lungs, skin and joint pain in their life; more severe in their late life, of which lung diseases like bronchial asthama are worse. General problem statement: To reduce the lung dieases in these workers.

Rains 3 months + On and off in the year

Breezy- Cement’s in the air !

used to the cement now

Generally hot Loni



mostly farmers


Scenario of Cement bag handling at loni station

understand hygeine and health hazards

education- mostly below 10th Class ; some have B.A degree too have back, joint pain


Contract to collect cement from the ground - 15-20 bags in a week

Their Personal protection

Deconstruction !

Use everything to the fullest

Wear and throw 2nd hand jackets and pants

Their lifestyle

Food is the only fresh thing in the whole place;and colourful too.

Gargle; cough comes out

Repeated use and improper cleaning habits Add to income

Keep dusting themselves in transition

Evening- community cleaning/ bathing; scrub themselves with the gamcha

Interviews of cement workers Questionaire • Working here since • did what before • education • wud you wish to change job • happy with d job • what do you do after going home • what do you watch on tv • Task at home in the morn • wear clothes • come • do you think dust se kuch problem hoga • kuch karte hain aap • mask • jacket kab badalte hain • carry karte hain ghar kaise • food? • break kab kitna

• in chizo se kuch takleef hai • dhone ka jhanjnat, dhool lagne ka • effective nahi hai ? • ghar mein dhul hoti hai • Abdominal pain • Breathing difficulty • Headache • weakness • Irritability • Unconsciousness • Muscle tension or tightening that causes twisting of the body, head, arms, or legs • itching, swelling • Bright red or bluish skin and lips • pain, redness, and swelling. • blistering. • white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb. • Peeling skin • swaas thambte ka, aggravated by aggression- climbing, lifting, bathing, eating, talking • dry cough • • muscle joint pain • fatigue • Back

• Wear off points • Why do they not wear the masks in the out • Do they speak when in the bogie • Have they tried anything other than the mask • Mask difficulties- washing, changing, throwing • Why cement in such bags • Monthly expediture over it [ direct + indirect]

• Health affected • Lungs- Dry cough • Spine- back, shoulder,arms,limbs pain • When get old, also when a lot of work is done in a day. • Knees, joints • 50 kg per bag. • 100 bags per day, 5000 kg by 5 people in transporting it between the truck and train. • Result of the hook used to move cement bags • Cement collects in the skin due to repeated use and improper cleaning. • Is removed occasionally with oil and lime but it still remains • Not cleaning the gamcha well, laziness • When cement enters the eyes, 50 paise eye drops or gulab jamun are used

Interviews of doctors • Dr.Dhanashri, loni • Diseases : Cox, TB • Back pain, Slip disc • allergic problems • Lung disease are acute not chronic. doesent keep cough for long term, people get dry cough, then and there not after a prolonged period of time, but COPD [ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] • Lifestyle – drinking almost everyday, eating tobacco, having stale food, unhygienic. • If masks are worn throughout the work; it will be much better

• Dr. Kalbhor, Loni • Cough, Allergic cough, Skin burn, Joint aches, • Depends on each one’s immunity • 56 % lung issues • 30 % knee issues • Eating paan is good, katta and chuna purify the blood. • Joint pain due to less intake of water., hence calcium level down. • They must get fresh air, something that attracts the dust. • Can’t wear mask full day due to heat, will sweat, water levels will reduce, feel more tired.

Interview of a tailor • Tailor, from whom they buy the caps and masks • About 1000 workers • He says he makes 50 caps per day. Caps are stolen. • White and red colour • Some buy masks in bulk @ Rs. 12 to sell @ Rs. 15. Generally buy 3-1 together. • Prefer red gamcha as it doesen’t look spoilt fast as compared to blue. • Habits- Paan, drinks, tobacco. • Supposed to wash gamcha and cap everday, Rs. 15 extra doesen’t concern them, earn around 12,000 per month, send their children to Angel’s high school, loni[ English medium] • Stitch hood by themselves with their hook. • Clothes not more than a month.Take breaks for few days, go to their village or keep travelling • Spit to remove the cement dust.

Seasonal changes • Winter - skin dries; itching increases; apply oil on skin and come • Summer - sweat more, cement sticks • Rainy - cement sticks

Cement facts Cement particle size - 0.1- 250 micrometer Absorbs water and hardens

hygeine patterns and costing Cap cleaning- 1-2 in a week Mask change - 15 days avg. Dress - 15 days Rd gamcha

Rs 25 Rs. 20 x 2 Rs. 150 x 2 Rs. 15 Rs. 80 aprox Rs. 400/ month

Analysis Cement is in the air all over ! Dust enter the lungs: • from the air, as they don’t wear mask throughout the day, • any opening in the mask Hygeine and laziness are key issues They use everything to the fullest; do more of use and throw; practise REuse • hook used to move cement bags wastes a lot of cement

Problems in the existing nose and mouth protection They wear the masks only when in the compartment.

Air transfer

Leave in this position to dry the sweat,elastic gets loose.

Suffocating after a point: • sweat makes it difficult to breath • breath in and out same CO2 air.

Cement gets stuck at places where there is sweat /barrier.

5 Days

10 15

working safely with concrete Trapped wet cement - burns - alkalinity of cement -Ironically, severe cases often occur when personal protective clothing or equipment is worn. • washing the skin with warm water and pH neutral soap, or other skin cleanser, and drying the skin afterwards • Facilities for drying clothes and changing clothes should also be available • Jaggery and paan are supposed to purify the blood and therefore a must for all cement handlers

problem solving levels

Cement Factory Level

A leak-proof packaging for cement

+ Avoids cement wastage/ tamper + Benificial for all handlers - Cost increase

Cement Factory and other handling points

Cement worker level

Leak-proof handling method for Cement bags

A personal protection throughout the day

Something that attracts the cement from the atmosphere.

Hygeine realization and corrective action by workers themselves.

+ Avoids cement wastage/ tamper + Benificial for all handlers - Cost increase

+ Less cost + Solving locally - Not full proof

packaging for cement 1] Paper gunny bags: - Already available - Difficult to handle - Expensive

4] Weave technique of bags

2] LDPE coating from inside the cement bag + Comparatively affordable + Saves on wastage of cement and occupational hazard to a huge extend

3] Thin Wax Coating from outside - Climatic issues +Would reduce cement handlers effort - Packaging method expensive + Retains the advantage of weaved bags

A personal protection throughout the day Specific Problem statement: • A personal protection which the workers can use throughout the day and protects them better from inhaling cement. Why? As it doesen’t require a system change The solution can be practised for true benefit

Design criteria: Better protection Feel comfortable using it for long time Last longer Maintenance Cost Acceptance

Inspiration Osmosis

purifying systems

Adsorbtion Absorbtion

Circulation Of air is Important ! eg. Mal cotton

AC filters

how things collect at in the lungs Something Hygroscopic eg. Chalk

Burqa Jain masks

Aerosol behavior


Inspiration for concepts

parallel products Respirator • the air-purifying respirator, which forces contaminated air through a filtering element, and the air-supplied respirator, in which an alternate supply of fresh air is delivered • activated charcoal • Wool, plastic, glass, cellulose, and their combinations Since the filters cannot be cleaned and reused and therefore have a limited lifespan, cost and disposability are key factors.



2 Leaf nylon cloth that need not be washed daily

+ breathe comfortably + 6+ layers would ensure air filtration + sweat dries soon; leaving a coolness

+comfortable +leaf gives cooling effect initially - availability of big leaves in quantity of 200/3 days - need something to tuck leaf into as they keep removing the mask

Concepts 3



+ wash less often - prolonged direct contact of nylon with skin is not good


- cement would enter too

- no need to wash [use and throw type] ; framework lasts long

Material requirements • Natural/ feel one with it/ can wear full day fine cotton- mal,cotton, leaf, mud, khus, • That which need not be washed daily Nylon mesh, AC filter

AC filter

prototype 1 for testing Leaf touches the skin to feel cool and comfortable Cement may pass the 4 layers of nylon mesh but can be easily dusted to remove maximum particles, wash at longer intervals Pradeep Dende,

cement labourer Used the mask for 1 loading cycle [1/2 hour] +initially felt excited about the leaf +leaf gave coolness - leaf got wet with sweat - exhaled air went in the eyes [cement too] - mask needs to fit well

Single thread loop according to one’s face

Freshness is welcome !

prototype 2 for testing 6 layered Cotton ‘mal’ mask. Needs to be washed regularly.

Santosh Khot,


Others’ suggestion: stitch it from ends add metal strip above and below

labourer Used the mask for 1 loading will not wash everyday cycle [1/2 hour] +he can use the mask for 3 loadings to begin with + comfortable breathing - he is habituated to the yellow mask; elastic ensures the mask to be in place; also we can wear it fast.

Mask after 1/2 hour use + clean; he had dusted it

Validation 2.2A... Washing/ layers • Checking the durability of the mask : 1. Put cement powder on wet 4 layered mask material 2. Let it dry 3. Wash Repeated the cycle 3 times... • Observation: +Cement doesen’t enter 3rd layer - Washing daily is necessary

Changing attitude... • After repeatedly talking to them about the problems in their existing way of working [masks etc.], more people are atleast giving a thought over it; which once they ignored. • [agreeing the faults of the mask and giving me suggestions for the new mask] • Some are willing to wash the mask too. • 3-4 peole have ordered for new mask.

Validation 2.2 Observation: • Wearing the mask is tedious [ bcoz of the locking loop] • Metal strip should be thin and soft edges • There should be more volume that the mask encloses. [for better air flow] • Particles get finer ; do pass through the 4 th layer also. • couldn’t brathe well after half hour [getting accustomed takes time] Layer2


Layer 1 topmost

Layer 4



• • • •

More Cost Mask shaped - ease in breathing Silicone lining Need to wash daily


• Less cost • Plain cotton cloth wrapped over a wireframe • Need to wash daily

SYstemic IMprovements at Cement worker’ Incentivization:

Carry a random check of 15 people’s mask and give them a point and recognition for maintaining a clean mask. Total the points at the end of 2 months.

thank you

Better inhalation For Cement workers  

A project on finding solutions for better inhalation for the cement workers outside my campus in loni, Pune.