Using flexible extraction arms

06 May 2019 At-source extraction protects workers in the metal industry and prevents the accumulation of welding fumes, oil mist or grinding dust in the workspace. The use of flexible extraction arms is a good method of removing dangerous fumes and dust when working on small or medium sized objects. These arms can be positioned close to the work area to capture toxic fumes, dust particles and remains of molten metal at the source. Capturing fumes and dust at the source also prevents pollution from spreading over the premises, keeping not only machines and tools but also products and offices cleaner.

Extraction arms are available in various sizes and can be mounted on walls, rails or used on extension booms to make sure they can be positioned close to the working area in many situations. The possibilities of these systems are nearly endless.

Correct use of a flexible extraction arm can make or break its effectiveness. In order to draw fumes and dust into the capture hood, the arm needs to be positioned close to the working area and above the source of the contaminants. If the employee needs to change position, it is of utmost importance that the extraction arm is moved as well.

When working positions change frequently, it may initially seem inconvenient to move the extraction equipment. However, since flexible extraction arms are equipped with support mechanisms, are easily moved with large handles, they can move smoothly and repositioning is very easy.

Tips for using extraction arms

For the best results, it is essential that all workers are familiar with a few good practices:

  • Position the hood of the extraction arm directly above the work area
  • Position the hood as close to the work area as possible
  • Reposition the extraction arm every time you change position
  • Make sure you are not between the extraction hood and the source of the dust and fumes
  • Check whether the hood visibly captures as much dangerous fumes and dust as possible

Some more considerations:

Awareness is equally important

While most employees working in the metal industry are aware of immediate risks like arc eye injuries or burns, the long-term health dangers of welding fumes and metal dust are sometimes overlooked. It is therefore very important to make sure that workers and other employees in the vicinity are convinced of the necessity of extraction and protection equipment. When workers truly understand not only how important these systems are but also how easily the extraction arms can be used, the effectiveness of extraction arms will increase significantly. A safer work environment is also likely to reduce absence of workers caused by sickness. With safer and healthier working conditions, employees feel better and perform better.

For the right use of an extraction arm see this YouTube movie.

 

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