Workplace exposure to potentially harmful airborne emissions is tightly controlled around the world through legislation and regulation.
There are three main areas of legislation covering extraction:
1. Extraction system safety
The provision of a fume and dust extraction system is the responsibility of the employer. In Europe this is covered by the CE marking requirements and all BOFA products comply with this standard. America and Canada generally require equipment to be tested and approved to an appropriate international standard by UL, CSA or other approved test house. China and Japan have their own standard but will generally accept one of the above, as does most of the rest of the world.
2. Worker safety
Employers have a statutory obligation to protect their workers. Extraction equipment is used for local exhaust ventilation to capture potentially harmful dusts, fumes or vapours. Legislation is in place to prevent exposure to harmful substances and to ensure extraction equipment is working correctly. Each territory sets occupational exposure limits, which are enforced through regulation and legislation.
3. Disposal of hazardous waste
This is the responsibility of the end user. The particulate, fume or vapour captured by extraction systems may cause the spent filters to be classified as hazardous waste. Disposal must be in line with regulatory requirements.
Select your country below for the latest fume legislation
Safe Work Australia (SWA) is a government statutory body established in 2008 to develop national policy relating to WHS and workers’ compensation. Workplace exposure standards have been established by SWA for approximately 700 substances and mixtures. These are legal concentration limits that must not be exceeded under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and Regulations. Each standard is evaluated by SWA members and then peer reviewed by Health Canada and Australian experts.
The Workplace Exposure Standards For Airborne Contaminants (2018) gives exposure standards for approximately 700 substances and mixtures based on 8 hour Time-Weighted Averages (TWAs) and/or 15 minute Short Term Exposure Limits (STELs). These can be given in mg/m3 and/or ppm.
SWA emphasises that workplace exposure standards do not identify a dividing line between a healthy or unhealthy working environment and should not be considered as representing an acceptable level of exposure to workers, they are simply the maximum upper limit prescribed by legislation.
**For more information specific to this country, please refer to the relevant in-country guidance.**
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