Welding Fume and Grinding Dust: Process Engineering Case Study


The Client

The client is a successful process engineering organisation that was established in 1989 and provides solutions to the process engineering industry, including local, national and international businesses in the food, feed and bulk handling industries.

The Challenge

After the HSE’s welding fume change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume in February 2019, Auto Extract Systems were invited a well-established process engineering solutions provider to attended their premises to perform a free LEV (local exhaust ventilation) assessment (book your free site assessment today, simply click here) and determine how best to remove welding fume and grinding dust from their working environment. The company not only wanted to comply with welding fume reclassification but also to provide a safer, pollution-free workplace in accordance with HSG258: Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work: A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) guidance.

The Solution

A meticulous LEV solution was proposed for a filtered seven-point self-supporting hose extraction arm system to be installed; complete with one three-metre arm and six five-metre arms. The hose extraction arms specified featured metallic fume capture hoods, gas-powered support struts and four-way knuckle joints; for they can be turned (virtually) 360° and be operated above and below their mounting height; allowing the user to position the hood at-source with a simple operation.

The hose extraction arms ran through a common duct to a modular reverse-pulse filtration unit/dust bank collector that features four-filter cartridges and gives a total filter surface area of 78m2 (19.5m2 per sleeve). The filtration unit features the latest innovative technology and is capable of self-monitoring, self-cleaning and filtering up to 99.9% efficiency. To comply with the HSE’s HSE258 guidance, the duct was then turned upwards to vent the filtered air to the atmosphere through a high-velocity cowl.

Auto Extract Systems continue to maintain the LEV system installed with an annual LEV Test. LEV Testing is a legal requirement and should be tested at least once in a 14-month period for compliance with HSE standards; they often form part of a company’s insurance requirements too. We also recommend that LEV equipment should be serviced at least every 14 months and more frequently if its usage is high (find out more about LEV servicing), so it operates within its required benchmark performance and reduces hazardous substances exposure.