At Auto Extract Systems, we offer a wide variety of different oil mist extraction solutions for a wide variety of industries and sectors. We're experts at capturing oil mist and safely removing them to help your business provide a pollution-free workplace. We work in the metalworking industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical device manufacturing, power generation and general precision machining. Our solutions include portable oil mist extractor solutions to complex oil mist filtration systems.
Depending on your business's requirements, we'll help specify the right CNC machine mist extraction system for your needs. We'll provide you with an effective CNC oil mist filtration solution to protect workers from metalworking fluids (MWF) (oil and coolant mist), oil smoke and metallic particles.
Our welding fume extraction technology can help free your working environment from exposure to hazardous substances. By utilising the latest oil mist capture and extraction technologies to increase production efficiencies, profitability and even create energy-saving efficiencies.
What is Metalworking Fluid (MWF) and How is Oil Mist Produced?
Metalworking operations use complex, high-speed cutting tools which require large volumes of fluids to effectively operate.
MWF is used as a coolant to reduce the temperature of metal workpieces, lubricate the machinery's tooling during the operation and prolong the life of the cutting tool. They reduce friction and carry away debris, such as swarf and fine metal particles way from the cutting zone.
Conventional oil in water (milky type) - Mineral oil is finely dispersed into water by use of emulsifiers.
Semi-synthetic or microemulsions (semi-transparent) - Mineral oil and synthetic components very finely dispersed into water.
Synthetics or chemical solutions (transparent) - Oil-free emulsions or a true solution of water-soluble additives.
The cutting process produces by-products, these can include oil mist or oil smoke. The mists, vapours or smoke can affect the sensitivity of the electronics in machinery and can result in disruption to operations.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 Mock Up
A thorough risk assessment should be undertaken to assess the hazards, the physical, chemical biological properties of the substances 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. Find out more in the 'Essential Elements of COSHH' paragraph further down the page.
The guidance is there to help employers, duty-holders and managers make sure that exposure to all kinds of welding fume is controlled in the workplace.
In the UKLA's MWF guidance, it states that: "It is of paramount importance to provide adequate LEV to remove MWF mist from CNC machine enclosures," and that: "It is essential that LEV systems are fitted and operated effectively."
Supporting the UKLA's guidance, HSE's MW1 - CNC Machining guidance advises: "Providing local exhaust ventilation (LEV) to the enclosure as either a standalone unit or a centralised system linking multiple machines together, “for a cleaner and safer working environment.
HSE's G406: New and Existing Engineering Control Systems guidance talks you through the design considerations, such as air volume, flow rate, location of extraction point(s) to capture the level of mist generated from the machining process. these elements all need to be taken into consideration when retrofitting or design a new engineering control system.
How Can Oil Mist Harm Your Health?
How Can Oil Mist Exposure Harm Your Health?
HSE identified that MWF exposure can be hazardous to the skin, eyes and more critically to the airways and lungs, potentially resulting in serious respiratory diseases.
Inhalation - The mist, vapour or aerosol can be inhaled depending on the type of machining you're doing. Exposure is like to be at its highest whilst near the machine, cutting workpieces involving high-speed tools or cuts, machines where the process isn't fully enclosed and where adequate ventilation engineering controls are in place.
Through the skin - Handling of workpieces, maintenance and cleaning operations, preparation and draining processes or if there are inadequate splash guards.
Through cuts and abrasions
Through the mouth - If you eat or drink in the workplace
In addition to the risk of exposure to MWF, there's also the added risk of bacterial contamination. MWF systems that contain water can become highly contaminated with harmful bacteria.
On the HSE's main Metalworking Fluids webpage, they recommend: "That businesses maintain the circulation of the MWF to prevent stagnation. This discourages the growth of anaerobic microorganisms and the formation of noxious gases and volatile compounds."
Businesses can identify microbial contaminations in MWF by noticing, "Changes in appearance and odour (e.g. a rotten eggs smell)." In addition, "Over a longer period, a visible biofilm can form on the inner surfaces of sumps and supply pipes. Whilst fungal growth can be found on the inner and outer surfaces of machines and pipes and the surface of the MWF sumps." according to UKLA's (United Kingdom Lubricants Association) Good Practice Guide for Safe Handling and Disposal of Metalworking Fluids (Version 2.2)guidance.
The bacterial contamination of fluids and associated machinery and pipework should be monitored and controlled.
In addition to the risk of occupational dermatitis (skin disease) another serious health implication that can arise from exposure to metalworking fluid mist/oil mist. Find more information about occupation dermatitis in HSE's G403: Health Surveillance for Occupational Dermatitis guidance.
Respiratory Health Implications
MWF can cause lung diseases, such as occupational asthma and occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The HSE has reported that occupation asthma is a growing problem, with 1,500-3,000 new cases each year, of which on average, up to 20 of these cases were associated with exposure to metalworking fluids.
UKLA's MWF guidance states that symptoms may include: "Coughing, recurrent chest infections, breathing difficulty and weight loss in a machining operator may be an early indication they are developing serious lung disease. Whilst employees who have developed asthma before they started working with MWFs may also be at risk of aggravating this condition should they inhale MWF mist."
What Does The Law State?
As an employer, you have a duty of care to take adequate measures to protect your operators from MWF 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 oil mist and MWF, 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
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.
It's important to remember that details about oil mist exposure limits haven't been set by the HSE. HSE published their Consultation on Monitoring of Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluid (MWF) Mists, which detailed their analysis on guidance set by other countries. It was found that European countries (with the exception of the UK) and the USA monitor all forms of MWF mist by capture onto filters.
However, the majority of exposure limits for MWF mist relate to mineral oil and not water-miscible fluids, but certain recommended exposure limits (RELs) had been set by NIOSH (USA) and INRS (France) that relate to MWFs.
How to Control Oil Mist Exposure
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 Coolant Mist Extraction Solution for Your Business...
Above all, it is important is to deal with the problem at the source. Using a direct connection LEV system is a highly efficient method for capturing mist and high-temperature smoke. Whilst an oil mist filter can connect to a CNC mist extractor filter unit to improve the air quality in your workplace.
We have solutions for two main category types, these include:
Water-soluble based coolants (used in applications such as machining, grinding, turning and milling) or;
Oil smoke generated from neat oil applications (used in processes such as cold heading, heat treatment and forging operations
Checklist to Help You to Choose the Right LEV Supplier
Checklist - How to Choose a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Supplier
If you’re 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 help guide you to select 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
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:
Die cast Manufacturing
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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.