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Standardization of cab air quality - The impact of ISO 23875

Imagine a world where there were no standards? What would that look like? We would be returning to the 18th century when everything was handmade, and there were no "spare parts." In the war of 1812, the British burned Washington D.C., an amazing feat considering there were 60,000 troops between Washington D.C. and the British. One small problem resulted in the U.S. Army being routed by the British. The British rifles were built with standardized parts, which allowed them to be quickly repaired. The U.S. muskets were all handmade, and making matters worse, the majority were broken, and there was no quick fix. Without working rifles, the U.S. Army fled before the British.

The world was quick to catch on to the unique benefits brought through standardization. The opportunity to build the same parts on two continents and have them work interchangeably became a reality. The epic growth of world trade was only possible because of worldwide standards for just about everything traded. We have standardized health devices, food processing, safety items, processes, chemical compounds, etc., etc., all of which brought prices down and dramatically improved the quality of the products produced.

Without a standard definition for cab air quality, it is ignored. Mining companies have been under pressure by regulators and operator unions to address air quality on their mine sites, including operator enclosures. This led to the development of ISO 23875.

Wheel loader cab with retrofit cab air quality system, set up for mining "moon dust" in Iceland

ISO 23875 quantifies acceptable cab air quality and aligns health and safety professionals and cab engineering. Once the requirements for cab air quality are clearly defined, engineering controls can be developed. End users can then specify the use of the standard to the machine manufacturers. Thus allowing end-user to effectively communicate what they want from the manufacturer or field retrofitters.

The standard includes methods to engineer, performance test, maintain, and recertify the cab throughout its lifecycle. Once the performance requirements are met, the cab can be certified as compliant with the standard, ensuring acceptable air quality to the machine operator.

The economics associated with cab standardization are impressive. Instead of engineering and manufacturing cabs for various parts of the world, the manufacturer can standardize on a single cab design. The cab is engineered one time. The engineering controls are used on all cabs of that design, ensuring the lowest cost of components. Performance testing the cab forces the manufacturer and the field retrofitted to produce a product that performs to the level specified in the standard. The end-user can now ask for an ISO 23875 certified cab and be assured that he gets what he paid for, acceptable cab air quality that can be maintained and revalidated throughout its lifecycle.

We hope to inform and provoke a conversation with our readers and learn what interests them.

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