The Basics of Weld Fume Extraction

Weld fume extraction basics

Quality ventilation could cost you far less than you believe. However, before we talk about the advantages of welding fume extraction, it’s important that you understand the reason behind having one in the first place.

Keep in mind that the absence of a good extraction arm brings a huge amount of health dangers for your workers. You may wonder what fumes are given off when welding. Well, it depends on the materials fused. Helium, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and argon are some of the gasses. Others may include phosgene, nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid or nitrogen, iron oxide, and hydrogen fluoride.

It doesn’t sound like something breathable, right? Please take note that the presence of iron dust particles has established a brand-new condition also referred to as Welder’s Lung. In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that even mild exposure to steel welding fume is very dangerous and could cause cancer.

What is a Welding Fume and the Risks?

Welding fume is created when metals are heated above their melting point, evaporate, and condense into fumes. The fume given off by welding is composed of a different combination of fine particles and gases that can cause ill health when inhaled.

Some of the health dangers differ from acute to chronic impacts. Acute impacts can include metal fume fever and irritation to the respiratory system. Further, chronic respiratory health impacts can be composed of more serious conditions such as occupational asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.

You may be wondering if there are possible health risks when welding in a confined area. The answer to that question is yes. Shielding gases pose a substantial danger for asphyxiation that is caused by the build-up of the gases in a confined area or movement of oxygen.

Types of Welding Fume Exhaust Systems

Have you been trying to choose the best type of welding fume exhaust system for your business? You will find two types of systems to choose from.

Movable welding fume extractors

This extractor could be assembled on wheels, making it simple and hassle-free to move when operations change. Further, a functional and compact solution for a wide array of metalworking organizations, a movable welding fume extractor is an excellent application to eliminate toxic fumes from the workplace.

Fixed welding fume systems

This fume extractor is composed of the installation of galvanized pipes set which collect toxic fumes through the food. After such fumes have been gathered, the hood shows them to a terminal or chute to oust them from the workplace.

With this system, you have the opting of sifting and recirculating those fumes back into your building if required. The fumes are effectively gathered by articulated arms, filters, hoods, or extracting benches in both types of extraction systems.

Benefits of Using Welding Fume Extractors System

A significant percentage of people around the globe spend a larger portion of their day at their workplace. It is for that reason it’s essential for employers to make sure their staff’s workplace is comfortable and conducive to work.

Keep in mind that a healthy working setting is vital to the worker’s health and enhances their overall efficiency in the workplace. An excellent way of enhancing the workplace to fit the staff’s needs is by using fume extraction.

Workplaces aren’t the same. You will find various types, one of them being the welder’s working area. Compared to other industries, the welding sector requires a fume extraction system. In case you didn’t know, welders are critical engineers to the infrastructures.

Nonetheless, those welders experience massive risks and dangers during their duties. The various types of welding they do generate various fumes with toxic substances. Working in a working environment without an appropriate welding fume extractor would indicate workers need to take time off because of illness, and worse, opt for early retirement.

Below are the potential benefits of using a welding extraction system.

An energetic and motivated workforce

A safe and healthy working environment thanks to an effective and productive welding fume extraction system results in an energetic and motivated who will return to work faster and will be at a no-risk or lower risk of long-term diseases.

Less absenteeism at the workplace

It is obvious that a safe and healthy workplace converts to less absenteeism and a healthy workforce. A business with less employee absenteeism is certain to have more production that is crucial to any business entity.

Many of the companies today also provide medical covers to their staff. When the setting is not safe and healthy, the expense to treat workers now and then because of poor or no weld fume extractor filter could prove very costly.

Ensure compliance

OSHA and HSE enforced regulations for welding fume extraction. The modifications came into play in 2019 and impact businesses that undertake different welding activities.

A healthy working setting for everyone

Welding has very hazardous and toxic fumes. Every welding process has its fair share of fumes, and the risks of the fumes could be deadly if not handled appropriately. Having welding fume extractors set up at your welding area helps make sure all the fumes are filtered away from workers faster before they could cause body harm.

Simply put, the smaller the welding particles, the more harmful they are to the human body. It is for that reason that weld fume extractors are essential to any welding sector.

To sum up, the benefits of fume extraction systems for welding at a workplace are not just pegged to the workers. It will also massively help the business owner. The workers working in a healthy and safe setting won’t be less susceptible to diseases but will become more energetic and productive at work.

Furthermore, such workers will be more encouraged and dedicated at work than those employees who need to think about the toxins within their working setting. The staff will also be more likely to have better confidence in themselves around the workplace that in turn will have a good impact on other workers around them.

Thus, it is crucial for workers to note that a fume extraction system may look like an expense to avoid, but expenses incurred for not having a fume extractor are more in the real sense. An employer who truly cares about his staff’s working setting is an employer who genuinely cares about productivity overall. After all, a healthy workforce will naturally result in a more productive business that is basically all an employer wants from his business.

FAQs on Weld Fume Extraction

Q: How do welding fume extractors work?

A welding fume extractor is a system that uses a fan. The fan uses a negative draft to pull weld fume particles into a contained filtration system. That process eradicates toxic particles from the air. Most processes and industries like welding, spraying, sanding, grinding, and processes that involve exhaust fumes require this kind of extract to safeguard machinery, the people, and the environment that everyone shares.

Q: What fumes are produced when welding?

Welding fumes can include a wide array of metals that include manganese, lead, beryllium, aluminum, and arsenic. Hydrogen fluoride, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon gases often are generated during welding.

Take note that welding fumes could cause serious health concerns for workers once inhaled.

Q: What happens if you breathe in welding fumes?

Welding fumes could cause different health issues for employees if inhaled. For instance, short-term exposure could lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, and nausea. Long-term exposure to these fumes could result in lung cancer, urinary and larynx tract, and even kidney and nervous system damage.

Q: What are the hazards of welding fumes?

Remember that welding is the procedure of combining metal pieces together through heating their surface to the point of melting. Welding could be categorized into two main groups: pressure welding or fusion welding.

Welding fumes could be really toxic to employees and workers, as metal welding fumes might have metal particles like zinc, titanium, silver, nickel, manganese, lead, iron, copper, cobalt, arsenic, and aluminum, among other metals.

Moreover, welding could also make a wide array of toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium, and argon. You will find different factors which can impact employee exposure to welding fumes. Some of the most typical are as follows:

  • The base metals and filters being utilized
  • Air movement within the facility
  • The factory’s location
  • The composition of the welding rods
  • The type of welding processing utilized

Q: How can you lower exposure to welding fumes in your workplace?

According to OSHA, welding manufacturers are obliged to offer their staff training and information on hazardous materials in the workplace. The Hazard Communication Standard offers a clear approach to identifying chemicals and communicating their toxic information on labels and other safety information materials.

Moreover, safety agencies suggest regular checks of ventilation systems and exhaust fans, particularly in places of poor ventilation. Apart from those standards, other ways to efficiently lower the exposure of welding fumes are as follows:

  • Welders must use natural drafts for factories not using an exhaust system. It will help lower gases and fumes. Windows, open doors, and roof vents offer natural ventilation
  • Welding surfaces and countertops must be cleaned of any residue or coating that could build toxic exposure to staff
  • Factory workers and staff must position themselves to prevent breathing in toxic welding gases and fumes.

Final Thoughts

Overall, always remember that less fume means more fame. It is always practical to have a great company image. However, investing in fume extraction systems will present a proper environment and better workflow for all your staff.