Why are air filtration and extraction important regarding occupational safety? According to occupational health and safety regulations such as TRBA100 5.1 (2), TRBA250 3.1.1, 4.2.3 and DGUV Rule 109-002, extraction for protection against airborne particles is even more important than wearing protective clothing. In Germany, they are mandatory because long-term consequences of breathing in soldering fume or laser smoke while working can cause lung damage and even cancer. TRGS900 defines occupational exposure limits to protect employees.
Different particle concentrations in form of dust and smoke arise, depending on the work process, as well as the kind of material and duration processing it. The particles are so small that they float through the air like small flakes of house dust and concentrate in the lungs when inhaled. Adhering to simple safety measures already minimizes the risk of accidents. However, observing safety mechanisms at industrial production facilities and wearing protective clothing, both in the industrial and medical sectors, are only the first step.
A respirator retains many particles, but often impairs visibility of the working surface and makes breathing difficult. Additionally, when working with fumes, the respirator’s field of vision can tarnish. This poses another safety risk. Employees can focus better in clean air, which helps preventing light-headedness and operating errors because the brain is supplied with sufficient oxygen. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the exposure limits and ways to reduce the health risk to employees. When choosing the right extraction system, the type and quantity of extracted particles is crucial.
These must be extracted from the air directly at the point of origin and kept in suitable filters. Depending on the particle size and type, other filters are used in order to prevent particles from the air from either flowing through a sieve like water, or clogging it too quickly like big stones. Therefore, we recommend to get individual advice by a specialist. They will explain to you exactly how the filter technology works and what happens to the extracted air. A sole extraction from the air would reduce the oxygen percentage, which must be avoided. Consequently, it is important to clarify if the filtered air can be returned to the room or hall. Other important aspects are a proper filter change and the correct disposal of the filters. Schedule a consultation with one of our TBH extraction experts.