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We supply new and used Welding Fume Extractors from the major leading manufacturers including the full ProtectoXtract Extractability range.  Or you can save time and money by buying secondhand and refurbished fume extraction systems to comply with the new health and safety regulations and provide your welders with current recommended PPE. 

High-quality Extraction equipment will protect your employees and it is not costly. We are happy to discuss part exchanges on any extractors including  Nederman, Kemper and Plymovent that you may have to dispose of after a visit from the HSE.  We can also arrange the LEV and TExT certification on any fume extractor purchased from us and remind you of your obligation every 14 months to get re-tested.

Keep your welders safe from harmful welding fumes by reading HSE Safety Alert.  PAPR air fed systems for individuals are also available from stock.

Welding can create hazardous fumes that can be dangerous for the welder working, therefore fume extractors are a must in order for work to be carried out safely. Certain fumes can cause cancer and other long term effects and as much as possible should be done in order to cut down on these risks.

Why are welding fume extractors necessary?

Chemicals in the fumes given off when welding can cause all sorts of health issues, from irritation and bronchitis in the short term to lung cancer and chronic respiratory problems after longer exposure. Heart disease, skin disease and other horrible illnesses can also be caused by the fumes given off. These chemicals cause problems because the fumes they give off are toxic. Some of these chemicals are cancer causing and include arsenic and nickel. Other fumes are formed from the ultraviolet radiation produced by the welding mixing with the natural air chemicals, such as oxygen and nitrogen. This can form ozone and nitrogen oxides which, after a large amount has formed, can be deadly. Fume extractors rapidly cut down these risks by taking away the imposing fumes before it can be breathed in. This reduces the exposure to the chemicals, and so lowers the chance of any irritating or serious medical conditions that could arise. Health and safety measures in the work place, such as welding fume extraction equipment, can increase the strength and productivity of your workforce by reducing the current 160 hour average yearly sick leave of a welder.

Welding Fume Extraction Systems and Procedures

Every year, thousands of workers in Britain develop occupational diseases from breathing in certain dusts, fumes or other airborne contaminants at work.MLocal exhaust ventilation, often called dust and/or fume extraction, can help clean the air, before people breathe in these harmful substances. New Research shows that Welders are at risk to a serious infectious disease from welding fumes. 

HSE regularly review and published new guidelines to protect your works from welding fumes which you can read here

Ventilation problems

Fresh air requirements in normal buildings are covered by an HSE publications, which concludes that the necessary volume of fresh air to be supplied should never fall below 0.28m³ per person per minute. This rate of air exchange occurs naturally in most circumstances. In buildings where welding is carried out, temperature control and problems of airborne contamination become important, and the quantity of fresh air required increases. Although fresh air is usually supplied by general (natural ordilution) ventilation, the sole use of general ventilation for airborne pollutant control in welding is usually ineffective leading to expensive heat loss. It is more efficient if airborne contaminants are captured as close to source as possible. Local extraction is the principal recommended method of fume control in the welding industry. The theory, types and application of local extraction have been discussed at length in a number of publications, which are recommended for more detailed study. This module deals with local extraction as an aspect of safety in welding; when it is likely to be required, what types of equipment are available, and when local extraction by itself may prove inadequate. A full list of suppliers of commercially available equipment is held by TWI, on a regularly updated computer file; welding and safety journals frequently have advertisements for such items.

Fume hazards - What is fume?

Usage of the term welding fume normally relates to the very small particles emitted during fusion welding. However gases are also generated or released, and these also form part of the 'welding fume'. As extraction equipment captures polluted air containing both gases and particulate contaminants, the term 'fume' is used to refer to any atmospheric pollution arising from the arc.

toxic welding fumes cause cancer

Hazards

All atmospheric contaminants are potentially injurious to health. Some substances, particulate or gaseous, are more toxic than others. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) require employers to assess the risk and adopt measures to ensure that the employees are not exposed to unacceptable levels of hazardous substances at work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publishes a list of allowable (safe) exposure limits for many substances including welding fume, entitled Occupational Exposure Limits EH40. The HSE normally recommends that for welding fume, actual exposure in the workplace should be reduced by the use of fume extraction equipment. Below are the principles involved in selection and use of fume extraction equipment, but they should be read in association with HSE's Guidance Note EH55 The Control of Exposure to Fume from Welding, Brazing and Similar Processes.

When is fume extraction equipment necessary?

Measurements of actual welding fume concentrations can be used to determine whether exposures of welders and others in the vicinity are likely to exceed the Occupational Exposure Levels (OELs) allowed in EH40, i.e. when fume extraction is required. BS EN ISO 10882 parts 1 & 2 Fume from Welding and Allied Processes gives methods for sampling and analysis of both particulate and gaseous fume. However there are a number of situations where experience shows that fume extraction will be necessary in order to ensure safe working conditions for example when open arc processes (MMA, MIG, MAG, flux-cored, plasma welding, arc gouging and cutting processes, brazing and soldering etc) are carried out extensively in a workshop environment, or confined space. The amount of fume generated, and the toxicity hazards to welders depend upon a wide range of factors such as: · types of materials being cut or welded · process parameters (increasing energy input to the process normally increases fume) · duration and frequency of the actual process in operation · operating position and location · general ventilation and air movements in the area As a general guide, any shop-based welder arcing on steel on a bench, or in the flat or downward position for more than two minutes in every ten with MMA or MIG at currents in excess of 170A is likely to need extraction. Extraction may also be needed to prevent general build up of fume in the workshop, for example where a number of welders are working, even if individually they may only be exposed to low Time Weighted Average (TWA) fume concentrations. The usual limiting OEL for welding steels is 5mg/m3, for the total fumes. For welding stainless steels and other alloys, the limiting safe OEL for one of the constituents may be so low that the total fume level has to be reduced.

Confused? Then why not let us visit, inspection and advise the most suitable welding fume extractor for your workshop and staff.

Reducing exposure hazards

The questions for consideration are: Can an alternative joining process be devised or substituted that gives less fume? Can the welder be positioned so as to be remote from the fume? Can welding be arranged to take place within a fixed capture hood/booth system? If the answers to the above are negative, with then local extraction should be used. Filter masks and air fed systems for the operator are last resorts or only usable as additional safeguards.

welding fume extraction unit and bench

Fixed equipment or portable fan units?

Portable fans can be moved close to the arcing position and can reduce the length of the flexible hose required.  Mobile fume extraction units are normally only suitable for one operator, though you can several arms fixed to a fan allowing welders to work near to each other. Filters need careful monitoring to ensure they have not become blocked rendering the extraction system ineffective and possibly discharging polluted air into the workshop.  Quesitons you should ask before purchasing.  Do you need direct exhaust to the external atmosphere or to the shop via filter? If Westermans International provide a quotation, we can also arrange an inspection of your workshop to find out exactly the type and numbers of welding fume extraction units you require to be compliant to current regulations. 

Disposal of fume dust collected by extraction system filters

Under current discharge of welding fume into the atmosphere is permitted provided it does not to cause a nuisance to others. Welding is not a prescribed process that has to be notified to the Environment Agency. However when welding fume is collected into a filter or another container, there is obviously a hazard to people in the area if any dust is or maybe dislodged or could be allowed to escape into breathing zones. This is particularly true when the welding fume contains significant levels of toxic dusts, for example hexavalent chromium, barium oxide (from self-shielding flux-cored wires) copper oxide etc, and other such substances that have low OELs quoted in EH40. It is therefore necessary to arrange and implement a 'safe system of work' to cover the collection, removal and handling of the arisings from welding fume filters. It may be necessary to provide air-fed masks, protective overalls etc for operators while collecting or transferring dust or loaded filters to the safety of a sealed bag or container.

Legal requirements

Although all the requirements can be encompassed under the Health and Safety at Work Act Section 2, specific sections of COSHH also apply, for example, under Regulation 7, employers must ensure employees exposure to fume is prevented or adequately controlled. Lots of useful information can be accesses from our Blog or the HSE as to what you need to purchase in way of protection for your welders and other staff in the vicinity of welding fumes.  Again we can arrange an inspection of your workshop and site to give safe and current advice.  You will also need to have these units LEV tested on site when first installed and every 14 months after that.  If we arrange this we will provide a certificate to prove compliance.

Welding and cutting

Welding fume extraction for sound, safe and efficient metal fabrication and cutting processes Welding and cutting fumes cause health problems and negatively affect production. The result is reduced capacity, re-occurring disturbances and eventually decreased profit. Not only welders are at risk in unsafe environments. The production equipment, as well as end products, are negatively affected from the lack of adequate safety measures. Automated welding equipment such as robots - and the operators - can be subject to residual welding fumes and also need to be protected. Good safety and health is good business. · Improve workplace environment · Protect your workers health · Protect equipment and processes · Reduce production disturbances and improve profit We have the facility to offer everything from single welding fume extractors to complete welding fume extraction systems. We can advise you where to go to carry out feasibility studies and planning for Welding and Metal fabrication industries.  As Agents for Nederman and a number of other EU manufacturers, we are able to find out calculations and present complete customer specific layout alternatives and solutions including costing. We can offer Installation work and commissioning. Our After Sales service encompasses everything from emergency repairs to scheduled maintenance.

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