Comprehensive and Effective Laboratory Fume Extraction Products...
Market-Leading Laboratory Extraction Products
The range of our laboratory fume extraction products can be utilised for all kinds of working environments, from capturing fumes and gases, to vapours and dust. Having the appropriate safety equipment to correctly extract any contaminants produced will reduce employees' exposure to hazardous substances and will lower the risk of any short and long-term illnesses as a consequence of your business activities.
At Auto Extract Systems, we offer a wide variety of different laboratory extraction solutions for a wide variety of industries and sectors. We're experts at capturing fumes, dust, mist, smoke and vapours that are produced in laboratories to help your business provide a pollution-free workplace. We work in the pharmaceutical, health and beauty, education (including both college and Universities), petrochemical plants, hospitals and chemical industries. Our solutions can range from include portable solutions to complex ATEX rated, filtration systems.
Our high-quality fume and dust extraction technology can help free your working environment from exposure to hazardous substances. By utilising the latest technologies in our product range, we can increase production efficiencies, profitability and even create energy-saving efficiencies.
The health and safety requirements require a thorough risk assessment should be undertaken to assess the hazards, the physical, chemical biological properties and the effect they have on the body. This should include how they present, in what form, how they're produced, the frequency and quantity to understand how best to protect workers from potential risks from explosive atmospheres.
Regardless of the working environment, whether it's in a laboratory or not, the principles of extracting either Fume Extraction and Dust Extraction principles are the same. Check out the broader fume and dust extraction advice.
What are the Risks?
There are a number of different hazardous risks can be found laboratories which could be generated from dangerous substance. We've outlined some of the main risks that workers are potentially at risk of whilst at work. But first, we need to understand what a dangerous substance is.
A hazardous area classification was introduced when assessing the probability of formation of flammable atmosphere, and its likely duration in working environments. It's widely used across the chemical industry as a technique to decide whether electrical or other equipment requires special protective features to prevent it from causing a fire or explosion.
There is no lower threshold for quantities of materials or risk is given. Instead, employers are required to designate a specific hazardous area where special precautions are needed to protect the health and safety of employees. Special precautions should be taken when planning the electrical and other equipment in the hazardous area to prevent it from creating an ignition source.
In workplaces like laboratories, there are health risks associated with exposure to gases, dust and vapours, so the method of working should be designed to minimise the release and control of contaminant concentrations in the air people breathe. The concentrations required to control health risks are typically far below the levels where an explosive atmosphere can form. Suitable control measures like engineering controls should be implemented to protect the health of laboratory workers. It may also help prevent the need to designate any zoned areas.
The DSEAR Regulations define 3 zones that can exist within a hazardous area:
Zone 0 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods.
Zone 1 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally
Zone 2 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation, but if it does occur, will persist for a short period only
In HSE's HSG85: Electricity at Work - Safe Working Practicesguidance, it recommends that: "Certified explosion-protected equipment must be used in places where there could be potentially explosive atmospheres, for example, if there has been a leak of flammable gas or build-up of combustible dust, which could be ignited by an electric spark."
Ignition from an electrical could cause an explosion in the workplace. In HSE's HSR25: The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, it states: "Flammable vapours, gases, liquids and dust by electrostatic discharge, electric sparks, arcs or the high surface temperature of electrical equipment could cause ignition."
What Is An Explosive Atmosphere?
An explosive atmosphere is a mixture of a dangerous substance or substances, such as (gas, mist, dust or vapour) with the air, which has the potential to catch fire or explode. An explosive atmosphere does not always result in an explosion but, if it does catch fire, the flames travel quickly. If this happens in a confined space (e.g. in plant), the rapid spread of the flames or rise in pressure could also cause an explosion.
What Do The HSE Recommend?
In HSE's INDG370 (Rev 1), Controlling Fire and Explosion Risks in the Workplace - A Brief Guide to the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations, it advised that control measures should be prioritised in this order:
Reduce the number of dangerous substances
Avoid or minimise releases of dangerous substances
Control releases of dangerous substances, at source
Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) should be provided for processes where there is an unavoidable release of a dangerous substance. By utilising at-source control measures, such as LEV, to eliminate the release of dangerous substances should be the first consideration.
When utilising the LEV system, capture hoods should be placed as close as possible to the source to reduce and limit the extent of the dangerous substances being released into the workplace. This will help keep the concentrations within a safe level.
The best capture methods include either an enclosed Cabinet or Laboratory Extraction Arm to control exposure. This way, the contaminant can be removed from the working environment.
What Does The Law State?
As an employer, you have a duty of care to take adequate measures to protect your operators from dust and fume exposure. This is enforced by law under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002. It is also enforced in the more generic Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Essential Elements of COSHH
The legal requirements require employers to complete regular COSHH risk assessments. Regulation 7 first requires employers to make all conscious efforts to follow the COSHH hierarchical approach. The hierarchal approach recommends that substances should be substituted from the process to either eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure. However, if elimination or substitutions can't be avoided, control measures, such as engineering controls should be implemented to control the risk.
COSHH regulations place the duty of care on employers to ensure employees (and other people in the workplace) who may be exposed to specific substances are protected. To find out more about the necessary steps to take to ensure your workplace complies with the COSHH Regulations, read our article, The 7 Essential Elements of COSHH [Infographic].
7 Essential Elements of COSHH
What Do The HSE Recommend?
If you’re removing fume and dust in a laboratory, you’ll need to provide exposure control measures to reduce the health risks for employees. HSE recommend that you should follow the 'Hierarchy of Control' flow diagram to determine how best to remove or reduce the risk of exposure in the workplace.
Hierarchy of Control
In HSE's Clinical Laboratories guidance, it sates that: "Employers must provide engineering controls such as local exhaust ventilation as the first line of defence against hazardous substances."
Workplace Exposure Limits
ULTIMATE GUIDE - What are the Latest EH40 Workplace Exposure Limits?
In EH40 guidance categorises important information about harmful substances, including whether substances are skin sensitisers, carcinogenic, or whether biological monitoring guidance is required. Click here to read our article, What are Substance WELs (Workplace Exposure Limits)?In the article, you'll find which hazardous substances have exposure limits and how their concentrations are measured over simulated working day periods.
How To Control Exposure In Laboratories
Once a formal risk COSHH assessment has been completed, prevention of fume exposure should be the first objective. Fume can easily be eliminated from the workplace with personal protective equipment and suitable engineering controls.
In the majority of cases, the most effective method of extracting airborne substances, such as fume is to capture at-source. We always recommended at-source extraction and depending on the working processes undertaken. This prevents fume and gases from dispersing into the broader working environment because of cross draughts and air movements, which can reduce the LEV system's efficiency.
We offer a full LEV Installation service, and we offer FREE site assessments too!
The HSE request you to only employ competent experienced specialist LEV trained companies when making these important decisions. Specifying an appropriate system has many facets including, the products encountered, the quantity and allowed exposure to that contaminant, airflow rates required against WELs (Workplace Exposure Limits).
We Have the Right Laboratory Extraction Solution for Your Business...
Specifying a professional extraction system can be inherently difficult so the HSE ask you to only employ competent experienced specialist local exhaust extraction (LEV) trained companies when making these important decisions. Specifying an appropriate system has many facets including, the products encountered, the quantity and allowed exposure to that contaminant and airflow rates. In the majority of cases, the most effective method of extracting air-borne substances is to capture at-source, however, due to many factors, this isn’t always the best option.
Auto Extract Systems is the UK's leading local exhaust ventilation (LEV) solutions company and we help businesses provide pollution-free workplaces with bespoke fume extraction solutions. We specialise in the design, supply, installation, commissioning, maintenance and repair of specialist LEV equipment.
Learn How We helped Businesses Like Yours
To find out more about the latest dust extraction LEV installations we've been working on, check out our Case Studies section.
Request your FREE LEV Site Assessment Today!
We'll call to arrange a convenient time and date to visit your site. 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 workshops to schools, colleges and military establishments.
Request your FREE, no-obligation LEV site assessment today!
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.
Industry processes we can add value to:
Why Choose Auto Extract Systems
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Request My FREE Site Assessment
We'll call to arrange a convenient time and date to visit your site. We'll analyse your working processes, assess the substances used and the contaminants generated. We'll workout how best to control the dust and fume in a way that's in line with your COSHH risk assessment.