Air pollution has emerged into a global problem both indoors and outdoors. When it comes to a workshop, the situation is even worse. Be it the welding gases (carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and ozone), engine exhausts and fumes in a repair shop or the oily fog from cutting fluids in a mechanical workshop, all these contribute to creating an unhealthy workplace. The most harmful amongst these are the solder fumes that make it life-threatening for the workers to work in the absence of fume extraction systems.
A statistical study by ILO recently highlighted that around 6.5 lacs workers die every year for working for long hours in an unhealthy environment. Apart from ensuring the health of the workers, installing proper fume extraction systems also lead to a significant decrease in overhead costs and operational costs. It also ensures compliance with the regulatory bodies and removes the menace of heavy penalties and imprisonment.
How To Choose A Fume Extraction System? Consider the below Factors:
Providing Respiratory Protection
- Through Personal Air Powered Respirators- This By circulating fume-free air into the cabinet, this type of respiratory protection ensures clean air in confined areas.
- There are engineered systems inside in them which include fans and ducts installation to get rid of welding fumes in the workspace. When it comes to respiratory protection this system serves as the most effective and expensive one.
- There are devices that first capture the fumes, filter them and then release the filtered air back into the workspace.
Maintaining the volume Of Airflow
- The fume extraction system is considered effective in maintaining the balance of airflow on the basis of the fact that there are a number of cubic feet of air which they circulate in the workspace.
- The proper volume of air depends on a number of factors. They can be decided after consulting an expert in the field.
Evaluating the types Of Filters
- While choosing a fume extraction system you must go for the type of filter which is efficient in collecting even the smallest of fume particles suspended in the air.
- To rate the fume extraction system based on the type of filter it uses, Minimal Efficiency Reporting Value is the single most highly accurate system. It is the nanofiber filters that are the most effective ones in capturing the smallest of the particles unlike standard cellulose or polyester filters.
Two Types Of Fume Extraction Systems
- Disposable After their filters have reached the maximum capacity, fume extraction systems are discarded. They offer lower costs initially but have recurring costs involved later on.
- Non-disposable fume extraction systems can be reused by getting the filters replaced once they are worn out. Although the initial setup cost for this type is higher it saves on costs in the long run.
Small vs. Centralized Fume Extraction System
- A centralized system is a cost-effective one, but it lacks flexibility in functionality. The entire workstation gets affected in case if it fails due to some reason.
- Going for many smaller systems would mean that the failure of one of them would not affect the entire workstation. But this is expensive as a number of such systems would be getting installed.
Guaranteed Separation of particles From Gases
- The removal of particles from the fume can be guaranteed by using a maximum number of systems.
- But they should also purify the gases from the air.
Electrostatic Discharge Safe Certification
- The system should be ESD-Safe and one. Do ask for proper certification while purchasing them.
It is the duty of employers to safeguard the health and hygiene of their employees. For this, the most important factor to look after is the supply of fresh air by the installation of a fume extraction system.