Eliminating the Dangers of Acids
Workers First is leveraging recent advancements in polymer science to develop advanced materials for use in personal protective equipment (PPE) and acid-proof linings.
Our mission is to protect people who serve in a wide range of functions – mining ore, advancing science, serving in the military, acting as first responders, etc. – and in doing so are exposed to acids. These workers build our economies and defend our communities, but the PPE they wear is woefully lacking, to the point where exposure, burns, or worse are simply considered “part of the job.” As our company name suggests, we believe they deserve better.
In addition, acid erosion and corrosion costs industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually in damage to equipment, property, and the environment.
Current solutions on the market are only barriers to acids. Workers First has engineered a true solution: a patented designer polymer that neutralizes acids on contact, turning them into benign solutions that eliminate the hazards associated with contact.
And unlike current solutions that are “one and done” after acid exposure, through the use of our patented activation mixture, Neutralcoat can be reusable up to 10 times.
"Neutralcoat has the potential to set a new standard in worker protection in this vertical."
-John Coniglio, Managing Director, OSEA
Neutralcoat can be incorporated into a myriad of products including coatings, machine-washable fabrics, wipes, etc. Coating manufacturers who sell to the chemical protective garments and gloves market – or who manufacture corrosion-resistant coatings and linings for acid splash/spill environments – can easily incorporate the Neutralcoat powder into their formulations.
The new polymer also shows great potential for public health applications such as anti-viral coatings. We have begun developing an anti-viral fabric and are collaborating with leading laboratories to roll out testing with virologists and facilitate sponsored research.
Neutralcoat in Action
Matthew designed his first invention in the seventh grade: a force field that could detect and neutralize any danger. After putting that idea on the shelf, Matthew studied chemical engineering at Clarkson University and worked part-time for a mining company. Both experiences exposed him to the dangers of acids and the inadequacy of worker PPE for acid splash/spill conditions. Studying under world-renowned chemist Dr. Richard Parch, Matthew engineered a new polymer that neutralizes acids on contact and started Workers First with a dream of revolutionizing the PPE and acid protective coatings market.
Richard Partch, PhD
Dr. Richard Partch is a world-renowned chemist at Clarkson University best known for his work with colloids. His numerous publications and patents deal with organic and medicinal chemistry, polymer chemistry, vapor nucleation and aerosol reactions, nano-micro particle coating and surface functionalization, composites, and waste conversion to fuel oil.
Colleen Cassidy, PhD
Colleen is a neuroscientist and advisor for early-stage startups. She co-founded a preclinical therapeutics company developing a modular gene-silencing technology to treat rare neurodegenerative diseases, and has worked with prominent angel investment groups identifying and evaluating high-quality life sciences companies.
Michele Migliuolo, PhD
Michele knows start-ups from every side of the table: he’s been an angel investor; he co-founded five high technology companies; and he’s coached countless startups as an EIR with multiple venture development organizations. Michele is also an entrepreneurship Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship at Duquesne University.
David Luebke, PhD
Advisor for Business Development & Chemistry
Since 2014 Dr. Luebke has led an amazing team in the commercialization of an aluminum electroplating technology at Lumishield as its CEO. Before joining LumiShield as Chief Executive Officer in October of 2014, Dr. Luebke spent 12 years at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Most recently he served as their Technical Coordinator for Carbon Capture, a position in which he crafted a portfolio of research worth $6.5 million annually and led the team which implemented that research. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and numerous patents.
Advisor in Sales & Marketing
Raj currently holds the position of Senior Buisness Development Executive for Norsite Performance Minerals. He is highly experienced in business development, sales and applications engineering with a unique combination of business and technical skills. Through his work he has consistently delivered highly profitable growth and harnesses co-development sales models for customized solutions, leveraging innovations in materials technologies with internal and external collaborators. Before his current position, Raj 1orked in Tribology and Industrial Abrasives in charge of innovation, engineering, global sales and business development. He has worked in 5 countries on 3 continents and has a knack for Identifying difficult customer problems and developing customized solutions.
Advisor in Safety & Customer Discovery
Joe Coniglio, the President of OSEA, Inc. and Co-Founder of Safety Badger has more than 15 years in various environmental, health and safety roles over his career to date. Joe is a versatile and adaptive individual who utilizes leadership, communication and interpersonal skills to build teams that meet and exceed goals under time restraints. Leveraging his consultative, solution-oriented approach, Joe has systematically grown his consultative firm, OSEA. Inc and developed a first to market app, Safety Badger. Joe is viewed as a trusted advisor and subject matter expert in construction safety and mobile strategy. Previously as a Captain in the United States Army, Joe served in multiple leadership roles such as battle captain, Battalion Logistics officer and Platoon Leader in both peace time and combat operations.