Shielded digger seat15 April 2013
A radiation-shielded seat for construction equipment operators working in contaminated areas has been developed in Japan.
A radiation-shielded seat for construction equipment operators working in contaminated areas has been developed in Japan. The seat completely replaces the original, and incorporates shielding pads over the torso, shoulders and lap areas. The aim is to reduce exposure by 50%.
To allow the operator to enter the seat, the pads, made primarily of tungsten, part at the middle and have hinged seams at the side.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Obayashi Corporation have jointly developed the concept, which they started marketing in December 2012.
Mitsubishi previously developed a heavy-duty (15 ton) forklift with shielded cabin for work in Fukushima Daiichi cleanup. That forklift's cabin is mounted with 100mm thick steel plates and 230mm thick lead glass. The cabin air supply, which is designed to operate at a positive pressure so that contaminated air cannot seep in, is also equipped with dust and contaminant filters. Testing of this unit helped inform design of the seat, MHI said.