Solutions for all kinds of metalworking processes
Metalworking embodies a broad range of industrial processes, from metalworking to machining. Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewellery. It, therefore, includes a correspondingly wide range of skills, processes, and tools. Auto Extract Systems and the capabilities to competently assist your business and provide you with a pollution-free workplace.
Metalworking operations use complex, high-speed cutting tools which require large volumes of fluids to effectively operate. These either cool metal workpieces or lubricate the machinery’s tooling during the operation. Several by-products can be produced that can include oil or coolant mist or oil mist smoke. These mists, vapours or smoke can affect the sensitivity of the electronics in machinery and can result in disruption to operations.
Good Practice Guide for Safe Handling and Disposal of Metalworking Fluids
United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (2018)
At Auto Extract Systems, we have a variety of local exhaust ventilation (LEV) solutions to suit your business’ needs. Auto Extract Systems are accustomed to helping all kinds of metalworking businesses in providing pollution-free workplaces for their staff.
In HSE INDG365: Working Safely with Metalworking Fluids guidance, it is recommended that businesses use any enclosures or engineering controls, such as LEV to remove or control any mist or vapours produced from the operation process. Workers are likely to be at the highest risk of exposure where there are inadequate ventilation arrangements.
In addition, in HSE MW1: CNC Machining guidance, it is stated that local exhaust ventilation (LEV) should also be provided to the outlet to enclose exposure as much as possible. It is also recommended that LEV should be provided as either a standalone unit or; a centralised system where two or more machines are linked.
HSE and UKLA (United Kingdom Lubricants Association) recommend as part of their Good Practice Guide for Safe Handling and Disposal of Metalworking Fluids guidance, it states that exposure to metalworking fluid mists should be minimised by enclosing the work processes where reasonably practicable and by, using LEV and mist filtration units. These engineering controls need to be maintained and LEV tested regularly (find out more about LEV testing here). It is of paramount importance that adequate LEV is provided to safely remove metalworking fluid mists from machine enclosures.
According to UKLA, Good Practice Guide for Safe Handling and Disposal of Metalworking Fluids guidance, it states that exposure to metalworking fluids can cause irritation of the skin (dermatitis) and workers’ can be put at risk of lung diseases, such as; occupational asthma and occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis. According to UKLA (United Kingdom Lubricants Association), Occupational Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (OHP) and Occupational asthma (OA) are the most commonly reported lung diseases in metalworking machine workers.
Whilst the HSE's metalworking fluids webpage states that lung conditions are debilitating, impair quality of life and the capacity for work. However, the sooner the illness is identified and the worker removed from exposure, the less likely permanent lung damage will occur. Workers who already have asthma and are then exposed to metalworking fluid inhalation are at greater risk of aggravating their condition. To find out more about the main health risks from working with metalworking fluids from HSE, including skin problems (dermatitis) and breathing problems (asthma).
To find out more about the latest LEV installations we've been working on, check out our Case Studies section.