Companies are obliged by law to keep welding fumes in the breathing zone of a welder below a certain limit. As welding fumes are potentially dangerous for people’s health, they should be reduced and/or extracted from the area where welding fume collects. Plymovent offers various effective solutions for the extraction of welding fumes.
Hierarchy for treatment of welding fumes
There are international standards for the preferred order in which welding fumes must be captured. This order is listed below. The next solution is chosen only when the previous one cannot be applied or is only a partial solution. In practice the total solution for a workshop is often a mixture of methods.
- Reduce or avoid the production of welding fumes
- At-source capture of welding fumes
- Separate source and human by automation and e.g. an extraction hood
- General ventilation and personal protection
The first step to creating clean air in your work environment is to ensure that the best available welding process is used for your application. If applicable, you might consider using alternative welding methods. In addition to the welding process the material should be clean, remove oil, coatings and rust etc.
For quality reasons many of our customers already considered this first step. We recommend that you contact your welding machine supplier on matters of welding.
Unfortunately this first step is often not enough to ensure a safe work environment; additional steps need to be taken.
Only with at-source extraction is the welder protected and accumulation of welding fumes in the work shop prevented. Source capture methods are preferably integrated in the workspace such as a downdraft and backdraft workbench which is a combination of workbench and fume extractor. Other methods are extraction arms that can be easily positioned close to the source or welding guns with integrated fume extraction.
When extraction close to the source is not possible the next best method is separation of the source from the rest of the workshop. If possible even from the welder by welding mechanization or the use of welding robots. Extraction hoods with welding strips enclosing the welding process are in these cases the preferred solution. Workers near the extraction hood are protected, those working inside an extraction hood will require additional personal protection.
Plymovent has a full set of controls and accessories to customize the system to your local needs. Design parameters are ease of use, flexibility, energy consumption and noise level.
Sometimes at source capture and welding hoods cannot provide a total solution. In those cases, general air cleaning and ventilation together with personal protection is the preferred method. With this approach accumulated fumes in the workshop are captured and filtered.
Advantages of welding fume extraction
A cleaner factory: When welding fumes are captured effectively, it will prevent the polluted air from spreading all over the premises. The machine areas, tools, products, offices and rest areas will stay clean as no dust and fumes will fall down anymore.
Less absence due sickness: Welding fume extraction is likely to reduce the absence of the workforce caused by sickness. It can also reduce other health complaints throughout a company, such as occupational asthma and eye irritation.
Order of welding fume extraction put in practice
Our reference cases will provide you with some practical examples of companies where we have effectively reduced the welding fumes in the workshop, using the technique above.
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