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Case Study: Welders in the UK made happier with clean air
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK has recently changed its standards for healthier workplace air. To comply to those standards, Lars Communications - leading installers of radio, microwave & telecommunications networks in Europe – decided to be proactive and employed the hi-vac solution from Translas to clean the air at their plant. The solution consists of the 7XE Extractor welding torch specially designed for welding fume collection at source and a central hi vacuum system which is also used for general cleaning of the workplace once the fabrications have been completed.
About Lars Communications Ltd.
Lars Communications is a Lancashire based company, occupied with the construction of telecommunication towers. They are in the business for almost 30 years and all their work conforms to BS EN ISO 9001 quality standards. The company has 240 m2 workshop.
The workshop of Lars resides in a building, which was originally built without any air cleaning installation. Due to the growth of the company in the past few years, more people have been employed in the facility. Employees started complaining about the dust laying around and that it was impossible to clean. Sweeping had to be done again and again constantly. The machines in the plant had to also be proactively cleaned on a regular basis to not cause failure due to dust and metal particles. That was keeping the people at Lars excessively occupied with cleaning activities.
That coupled with the new WEL-level standards (Workplace Exposure Limits set on the amount of a substance that can be present in workplace air) imposed by the HSE for up to 5 mg/m³ of air of harmful fumes and gases over the span of an 8-hour working day, had raised the need of an effective air cleaning solution for the plant.
Before choosing the 7XE Extractor & Clear02 200 Pro hi-vac solution, Mark Lightfoot, Workshop Manager, and Julian Cooper, Business Development Manager, at Lars, explored the two most suitable for them options – on-torch fume extraction versus self-supporting welding fume extraction arms.
The use of welding fume extraction arms proved to be ineffective for the fabricators at the plant because the harmful smoke was still passing through the face of welder. At the same time, Mark Lightfoot and Julian Cooper were impressed by the extraction power of the 7XE Extractor with the high-vacuum central Clear02 Pro filtration unit. The fumes were going directly into the torch, without even coming close to the face of the welder.
“The amount of fumes the torch took away was impressive” – Mark Lightfoot, Workshop Manager at Lars Communications
The quick installation of the high-vac solution saved a lot of time to Lars. “We have a massive workshop of 240 m2 but the installation was quite quick”.
Right after the implementation of the 7XE Extractor & Clear02 Pro unit, significant changes have happened. It is now easier to clean the large workshop and fumes cannot be seen since all dust is filtered and cleaned air is returned into the workplace via clean air monitoring device installed on the exhaust of the system. Only 4 weeks after the installation, the rise in the productivity has been noticed since welders are not constantly busy with sweeping the workshop. Welders report that they breath in significantly fewer welding fumes.
“It used to be quite foggy when you walked into the workshop before and now it is quite clear. You see no fumes there.” – Mark Lightfoot
Benefits for Lars Communications:
Time savings from cleaning up the workshop
Welding pool is much more visible
Welding masks are significantly cleaner & last much longer
Welders don’t breathe in almost any fumes compared to before
Good USP for job advertisement
Clear air in the whole workshop
Consumables last between 5 & 10 longer due to the cooling of the 7XE welding torch