The fumes that are generated during fusion welding contain contaminants and gases that are potentially hazardous to all those working in the welding environment. Some fumes are more toxic than others, and it is vital that employers ensure that there is sufficient fresh air in welding workshops and work areas to counter any ill effects.
In most other working environments (that do not involve welding operations) it is sufficient to open windows and ensure there is a good through draft. But in the welding environment this is a hopelessly inadequate approach.
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines regarding proper ventilation for welders. They warn that while general ventilation will reduce gas levels and fumes in work areas, when welders work outdoors or in open spaces indoors, neither the natural or forced movement of fresh air will provide adequate ventilation. OSHA also warns that welding should never be carried out in confined spaces without proper ventilation.
Rather than aiming for full room ventilation, OSHA recommends that welding businesses use local exhaust ventilation systems that extract gases and fume at the source, where welder’s are working and breathing. These systems should be positioned so that the maximum amount of contaminated air is removed.
How Kemper’s FilterMaster Extracts Fumes at Source
Highly efficient, Kemper’s mobile filter, FilterMaster, exhaust unit has been designed to cope with a range of common welding conditions in a variety of work environments. Positioned where it can extract contaminated air in the welder’s breathing zone, it directs pre-filtered air through a main filter and then feeds clear air back into the workspace through two blow grids that are integrated into the housing in a lateral position.
While the pre-filter simply separates contaminated air from rough particles, the main filter is able to remove almost all (99.9 percent) of harmful contaminants. A control light on the FilterMaster comes on when a filter change is needed.
Since areas in which welders work vary in size, FilterMaster extraction arms also vary in size: specifically 7 ft, 10 ft and 14 ft. Adding to this versatility, they can be moved into any position and since the arm incorporates a unique spring-supported design, it stays in the required position without needing any additional support. Additionally, the main cable is 20 ft long, and the hood is particularly easy to handle.
Kemper’s FilterMaster XL features an automated cleaning cycle that has an integrated control system that monitors the surface of the highly efficient membrane filter and then indicates when the filter needs to be cleaned. It is especially well suited for workshops where chromium is of particular concern.
The FilterMasterXL also has 7 ft-, 10 ft-, and 14 ft-long arms, and its self-cleaning filter cartridges are reusable. Of particular interest to welding companies, is the fact that the unit can remove tiny alveoli-damaging dust particles that cause a number of serious diseases. Click here to watch Kemper’s video explaining the impact of welding fumes and Kemper’s solutions.
There is no doubt that it meets the critical needs of source extraction.