Keeping Fumes Out Of The Workplace
Safety is a critical factor when you and your company are involved in welding no matter if it is a major part of your business or a small part or if it is manual or robotic. One of the most important hazards in welding is also the least thought of, the welding smoke. To keep welders safe, organizations such as the ACGIH (America Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) and OSHA have set standards to help minimize the exposure that employees have to hazardous particles.
When you think about what is happening during the welding process it is no surprise that the smoke and dust produced can cause serious health issues. When the welding torch hits the metal a metal oxide compound is created based off the welding wire, the metal being welded, and the coating on the metal. Exposure to these fumes can causes Parkinson like symptoms among other issues. Along with health issues, prolonged dust/smoke exposure to equipment can cause it to problems, or even fail, faster than when proper ventilation is in place.
Proper Filtration A Must
Just by adding a filtration system to pull the smoke and dust away can help decrease exposure for employees and save you money from repair and replacement costs of robots, computers, machines, etc. Many different methods and systems can be used to filter out welding smoke/dust including ducted system with fume arms, backdraft hoods, ducted welding booths, or even a self-contained welding booth such as the Clean Air WeldStation LEAF. Although some companies feel like ventilation to the outside is a good option, you can run into many issues such as: proper CFM levels to pull smoke is not achieved, smoke is pulled up through the welder’s breathing area, or violation of the EPA’s NESHAP regulations (Read More About NESHAP Here). A proper filtration system such as those offered by Clean Air America, Inc. allow you to achieve a clean, hazard free workspace all while saving you, the employer, money.