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What Airborne Dangers Do I Need to Worry About?

As a workshop, there are several dangers to be aware of, and none perhaps more dangerous than the invisible threat of airborne hazards. Contaminants like exhaust fumes and wood dust may be challenging to see by the naked eye, but they are common particulates formed in this industry and can cause damaging health problems if they enter a person's system.

Workshops are typically places where businesses manufacture goods or carry out repairs, producing hazardous particles. Whether you work in fabrication, education, motorsport, or another similar sector, these environments can be challenging to control dust and fume risks. An LEV solution, such as a workshop dust extraction system, is recommended to capture and eliminate harmful airborne particulates before they contaminate workers.

Dangerous substances formed in a workshop include:

  • Exhaust fumes (particularly diesel fumes) - Emitted by vehicles when the engine is left running. In confined spaces, such as an automotive workshop, exhaust fumes can be dangerous to anyone within the vicinity who may inhale the fumes.
  • Solvent vapour - Solvents may evaporate, causing vapour to form in the air. Solvent vapours can cause health complications when inhaled, including long-term diseases like lung and kidney damage.
  • Dust particles - Your workshop may carry out processes forming various dust particles, including wood and silica dust. Inhaling large amounts of dust is a significant hazard and one of the most common dangers for this sector.
  • Epoxy sprays - Spraying epoxy, such as for a coating, will leave mist in the air. Spray mist causes many of the health problems mentioned above, plus irritation of the eyes, nose and throat when coming into contact with the skin.
  • Welding fumes - Workshops that deal with metal fabrication and welding tasks should be particularly mindful of the dangers of welding fumes. Exposure to these toxic fumes can lead to lung damage and different types of cancer.

Businesses can often overlook these toxic materials and the risks they cause. It is not enough to work in a spacious environment or leave doors and windows open to improve ventilation. Exposure to hazardous particles can lead to profound health implications, so you must implement effective workshop dust collection systems.


We Have The Solution

At Auto Extract Systems, we are accustomed to helping all kinds of businesses to provide pollution-free workplaces. We are experienced in providing workshop dust extraction solutions across different environments. Get in touch today to see how we can secure your environment against toxic substances.






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What Is a Workshop Dust Extractor?

In industrial environments, there are countless amounts of health and safety hazards that can arise. When work involves using specialist equipment to manufacture products or carry out repairs, toxic particulates such as dust and exhaust fumes can be emitted and introduced to the working environment. A workshop dust extractor is a system that helps to create a cleaner and safer environment. Extraction systems work by capturing dangerous substances at the source level, removing them before they reach people, and thus enhancing the quality of air. There are several types of workshop dust extraction systems available, from portable extractors to larger products that are fixed in place. Speak to a member of our team to find out which extractor is best for you.


What the HSE Recommends for Workshops

The Health and Safety Executive is in charge of ensuring the safety and welfare of employees, helping to prevent work-related accidents and injuries. At Auto Extract, we specialise in the extraction of hazardous materials. Working with fumes, dust, wood, and other processes can be a significant health risk. The HSG129 guidance booklet released by the HSE provides health and safety advice tailored to engineering workshops. The guide offers information on key safety measures for specific processes, such as welding, including the use of extraction equipment, screens and eye protection, and protective clothing.

Local exhaust ventilation systems are critical products for controlling exposure levels, however, they must be used correctly and safely. HSG129 states that systems must be thoroughly examined "every 14 months for most processes" or "every six months where metal articles are abraded or polished for more than 12 hours a week." The document also provides information on how to make the most of LEV systems, including installing a tailored solution, keeping the hood close to the source of contamination, and ensuring the fan draws air away from the operator.

The HSE also has an EH40/2005 guide for workplace exposure limits. A workplace exposure limit (aka WEL) is the legal limit of exposure to toxic particles. This framework provides guidance on the maximum exposure someone may be able to endure within a specified timeframe before it is considered too dangerous. Exposure levels should be regularly monitored to ensure that employees are working below the workplace exposure limits.



The Health Risks Associated with Workshops

The health risks that employees can face within a workshop environment may vary depending on the individual work that the business performs. Hazardous particulates that you may face can include welding fumes, dust, diesel fumes, wood dust, wood chippings, and silica dust, to name just a few possibilities. Exposure to harmful materials can come in the form of inhalation, skin contact, injection, and swallowing. The health effects of being exposed to high levels of dangerous materials can range from short-term effects to long-term complications. Potential health problems can include skin irritation, respiratory issues, eye damage, gastro tract irritation, and skin sensation. Most significantly, exposure can lead to cancer such as lung cancer and kidney cancer. Workshop dust collection can erode many of the health risks of dust exposure in the workplace.


Why It's Important to Reduce Exposure

As mentioned above, there is a wide range of health risks associated with exposure to workplace contaminants. These conditions, such as cancer, can severely impact a person's life as well as the lives of family members. Reducing exposure is, first and foremost, essential for preventing employees from contracting a serious illness. There is clear evidence linking specific substances with health effects, which is why companies should take reasonable measures to protect the welfare of their workers. Workshop extraction systems are vital to creating a pollution-free environment that is clean, safe and healthy. Extractors will filter out particles in the air and prevent people from breathing in toxic materials that can cause cancer, such as welding and diesel fumes. A workshop extractor works to eliminate very fine particles quickly, a feature that is highly advantageous to fast-working environments and businesses that deal with the smallest of debris. A dust extractor will also help protect machinery, allowing them to last longer.


Have You Heard of the HSE’s Awareness Campaigns?

Every year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) runs a series of campaigns targeting select industries and workplace practices. The campaigns are designed to raise awareness of issues relevant to that particular sector, helping to promote adequate safety measures and appropriate best practices. During these campaigns, HSE inspectors are known to randomly visit businesses that fall within the parameters of the campaign's subject matter. The inspectors will speak to managers and employees to identify measures that are in place to comply with HSE guidance and laws. Ultimately, HSE campaigns aim to promote the unique risks to all personnel working within the sector and to provide advice on measures that can be taken to protect workers.


The Potential HSE Sanctions for Workshops

The Health and Safety Executive is involved in regulating workplace safety and ensuring that employers take steps to maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees and visitors. The HSE can take enforcement action if a business fails to comply with the law, deal with serious risks or uphold its responsibilities. The regulator can take several actions to enforce workplace health and safety, including providing advice, issuing cautions, serving notices, or pursuing prosecution proceedings. For workshops, there are several risks to mitigate, including air pollution of welding fumes, dust and diesel fumes. If you fail to follow regulations and avoid implementing solutions to reduce risk, workers may end up with severe health complications. The sanctions for not maintaining employee health and safety can vary. Punishments often include heavy fines, community orders, disqualification orders, remedial action, and in the most serious cases, imprisonment.



Key Statistics From the HSE

As the country's regulator for workplace health and safety, the HSE releases an annual report outlining several key statistics about work-related incidents throughout the year. In 2022, there were a total of 1.8 million work-related health cases reported. While the number of workers killed in work-related accidents was 123, a relatively low figure in the grand scheme of things, there were 12,000 lung disease deaths attributed to past exposure at work. 34% of the deaths were caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), closely followed by non-asbestos related lung cancer. There were 19,000 new cases of workers reporting problems with their lungs or breathing, either caused by or made worse due to work, on average, over the previous three years. While it's unclear where these exposures occurred, it's clear that the hazards of workshops and, in particular, their airborne contaminants would directly affect these statistics if measures aren't taken.


What is the Cost of a Workshop Extraction System?

Now that you know the importance of workshop extraction systems, it's time to start looking at how a solution can help your business. As there are several variables, we cannot offer an exact amount you can expect to pay. The cost can vary depending on the extraction products you choose, your operational processes, the size of your workplace, your industry, and the overall size of your extraction system, to name just a few. You must receive a workshop extraction solution tailored to your requirements. Therefore, we recommend that you contact our specialists for advice. After hearing about your individual scenario, we can offer a no-obligation quote.

Get in touch today to learn more about the best bespoke extraction solution for your business.


What Sizes of Workshops Can We Help With?

We have experience working with both big and small workshops. We can assist you regardless of whether you have a large facility, like an automotive garage, or a small one, such as a school. Auto Extract Systems will provide an appropriate, cost-effective solution considering your needs and size, from portable extraction products to large systems fixed in place.

We will advise you on how to make the most effective use of our products, reducing investments and optimising results. We also understand that the size of your workshop significantly impacts your team's safety. Contaminants can reach higher concentrations in small environments, but larger workplaces also present risks. That is why we will thoroughly analyse your specifications and requirements to ensure you protect your employees and customers from hazardous airborne materials.

Contact our team to learn more about how our specialists can advise on a workshop dust extraction solution for specific circumstances.


Examples of Punishments for Workshops

As we've made clear, there are significant consequences to businesses that put their employees in harm's way. The HSE pursues serious action against businesses that fail to implement or maintain workshop extraction systems. One example involves a Hertfordshire furniture manufacturer that exposed their workers to the risk of hardwood dust. The HSE attended the workplace several times and found that the business failed to follow up on the advice provided to raise health and safety standards. After one visit, inspectors noticed that one extraction system was inefficient and increased the levels of dust in the air. The furniture company pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 Act. Following proceedings at Luton Magistrates' Court, the company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay legal costs of £1,081.40.


What Our Customers Say About Us

We've helped hundreds of workshops across diverse sectors install and maintain effective solutions for removing harmful contaminants from the air. But don't just take our word for it! Here's what some of our customers say about the work they've received from Auto Extract Systems.

"Our Fleet workshop based in Hull, Yorkshire have used Auto Extract Systems for all our LEV testing, certification and repairs over the last 4 years.

"We have been extremely pleased with the full service from contact to inspection from all members of there staff.

"All the staff are helpful, professional and committed to giving the best value and service as well as the aftercare which is second to none with a fantastic portal service which is very useful to the client.

"I would have no hesitation recommending Auto Extract Systems to any potential company requiring there services." - Tony Kirk


The Right Workshop Extraction Solution for Your Needs

Auto Extract Systems can help specify and design the right workshop extractor for your business's requirements. Over the last 20 years, we've helped thousands of businesses create dust and fume free workplaces. As experts in all things LEV, we can help your business become HSE COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulation 2002 compliant with a tailored LEV solution. We provide comprehensive design, installationcertification and maintenance services across a range of industry sectors.

We only use the highest quality products and installations come complete with a 12-month installation warranty. Find out more about our LEV Installations service.

To find out more about workshop extraction and how we can help you find the right local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system for you and your business, head over to our News section. Request a FREE LEV site assessment today by clicking the button below, or call us on 01942 267444 or email


Request a FREE LEV Site Assessment

Get in touch with us today to arrange your FREE LEV site assessment! We'll call you to book a convenient time and date for our team to visit your workshop. We'll analyse your working processes, assess the substances used and the contaminants generated. We'll work out how best to control the dust and fume in a way that's in line with your COSHH risk assessment. Next, we'll design you a comprehensive LEV system that adheres to HSG258 guidance and send this you to via email.

We'll do all this to ensure we fully understand your dust and fume extraction requirements and help you to provide a pollution-free workplace!

This is an amazing service we do for thousands of businesses throughout the UK and Ireland every year. We work with such a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing, industrial, woodworking, pharmaceutical and automotive bodyshops to schools, colleges and military establishments.

Request your FREE, no-obligation LEV site assessment today!



A Checklist for Choosing the Right LEV Supplier

Checklist - How to Choose a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Supplier

If your workshop is in the market for a new Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system, it can be a tough decision to decide which is the best LEV solutions provider to choose. We want to help, so we’ve assembled a checklist (and article) to guide you towards selecting the right LEV supplier for your business and requirements. Visit our article on How to Choose a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Supplier and download the checklist.


Learn How We Helped Businesses Like Yours

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To find out more about the latest workshop dust extraction LEV installations we've been working on, check out our Case Studies section.


Why Should You Choose Us?

Celebrating 20 Years In Business

Auto Extract Systems is the UK’s leading Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) company. Over the last 20 years, we've helped thousands of businesses create dust and fume free workplaces.

As experts in all things LEV, we can help your business become COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulation 2002 compliant with a tailored LEV solution. We provide comprehensive design, installation, maintenance and certification services across a range of industry sectors. Find out more about us here.


We Have Workshop Extraction Solutions For...

  • Metal Fabricators
  • Universities
  • Bodyshops
  • Woodworkers
  • Joineries
  • Colleges
  • Farmers
  • Welders
  • Manufacturing Plants
  • And many more...


Case Studies

We have a long history of working with multiple industry sectors to implement effective LEV solutions. Our supported industries include everything from metalworking and welding to automotive, woodworking and manufacturing, to name just a few. We've worked with workshops, fire stations, ports, schools, garages, and more. Our solutions have included small installations like direct connections and extraction arms to comprehensive designs comprising multiple products.

To learn more about the latest LEV installations we've worked on, visit our Case Studies section.


Why Work With Us?

celebrating 20 years’ of service

Celebrating 20 Years’ of Service

experts across multiple industries

Experts Across Multiple Industries

high quality lev design, supply & installation

High Quality LEV Design, Supply & Installation

affiliate bohs member & fully accredited with chas, iso and more!

Affiliate BOHS Member & Fully Accredited With CHAS, ISO and More!

12 month installations warranty

12 Month Installations Warranty

free lev site assessments, uk-wide

Free LEV Site Assessments, UK-Wide

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