Colophony or Rosin Based Solder Flux Fume is a known cause of occupational asthma and as such exposure to it should be controlled. An effective method of engineering exposure control is to use local exhaust ventilation (LEV) to extract the fume at source. Personal exposure to solder fume was quantitatively measured in the breathing zone of a manikin, these exposures were then compared to those caused by uncontrolled soldering in order to assess five different LEV systems. The five LEV systems tested were a downdraught bench; an extracted bench top enclosure, a mobile capturing hood, an on-tip extraction system and a bench top fume absorber.
“Every employer who provides any LEV to meet regulation 7 shall ensure that, it is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, in good repair and in a clean condition – Regulation 9.1 COSHH” Where engineered controls have been used the employer must ensure that they are tested and thoroughly examined with a suitable record kept for minimum of 5 years. Further more the regulation states that: “Any LEV system must be thoroughly appraised and tested at least once every 14 months. – Regulation 9.2. This is reduced to 6 months in certain circumstances.”
According to the HSE, around 13,000 workers in the UK die each year from historic work-related exposure to airborne contaminants at work leading to lung disease and various cancers. These figures are estimated to be attributed to past exposure, primarily to chemical and dust at work.
Equipment that draws pollutants from an operation or process in the working environment. Made up of an inlet like a hood, slit, arm, cabinet or booth. This will be located near to or close to the area of the substance release. All suchlike equipment needs to be connected by ducting and a fan to enable the movement of air. The removed air passed through a filter or is extracted to atmosphere away from the workplace. How Welding Supplies Direct can help ? WE will carry out a thorough tests in line with COSHH Regulation 9 as detailed in HSE Guide HSG258 Our levels of service can be tailored to your Companies needs. However, most clients choose to take advantage of by combining servicing with the LEV testing. See extra info on Local Exhaust Ventilation LEV Testing.
The employer decides who to employ or consult and needs to be an ‘intelligent customer’ to get the best result. HSE has produced simple guidance to help the employer choose a supplier when they are considering installing LEV (see HSE leaflet Clearing the air). Suppliers need to prepare their information to respond to this approach.