Why is fume extraction important to us at the WDC?
The Welding Development Centre is highly committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of our delegates, staff and visitors. The WDC training facility has eight state of the art welding bays, all fitted with Kemper fume extraction systems.
Within any form of welding there is always a harmful fume that is emitted into the atmosphere once the welder arcs up, this can cause long-term health problems for the welder. Therefore, the correct fume extraction should always be installed within the area of which the welder is welding in, as the contaminant particles are inhaled by the welder and can travel through the welder’s windpipe and into their lungs. Particles are not only able to reach the smallest branches of the lungs and the alveoli, but they are also able to pass through cell walls. In this part of the body a process occurs which is vital to our existence, this is where the gas exchange occurs between blood and lungs, therefore if these particles end up in this process there is a risk that the human genetic material will change and cause very serious and life threatening illnesses such as cancer.
It is estimated that approximately 3.25 million people die every single year because of fine dust. The World Health Organisation classes fine dust as a direct cause of lung cancer. Therefore with such serious health hazards its always important to keep your LEV ‘trunk’ 300mm (Maximum) away from your work piece that you’re welding, this ensures that the LEV is working to its full potential and that it will not interrupt with the welding. As in some cases, if the LEV is too close for example, it can end up pulling the shielding gas away from the weld and creating defects such as porosity, affecting the quality of the weld.
Welding fume is subject to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, therefore if you visit the HSE website (link below) there are advice sheets on welding, cutting and surface preparation to help you to comply with COSHH.