BOFA International, a global leader in fume and dust extraction technology, has launched a new range of woodworking dust extraction units for small workshops, schools and colleges.
The new DustPRO Wood range comprises six models, each tailored to specific performance requirements but all capable of capturing airborne wood dust that can cause serious health issues.
The units’ extraction range covers larger chippings down to dust just 0.3 µm (3 microns) in size, and their design makes them ideally suited to smaller workshops and education and training establishments. Each unit combines large filter capacity with high vacuum fume and dust extraction performance, and incorporates BOFA’s unique reverse flow air technology to enhance filter capture and ensure longer filter life.
Other features include reusable bags, low friction filters, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) technology and drop-out chambers for wood chippings.
Our Technical manager, John Horsey, commented:
Sawing, routing, milling and particularly sanding processes are known to generate inhalable dust, with the potential to create lung disease and breathing problems unless appropriate extraction systems are in place.
If not captured through effective local exhaust ventilation (LEV), this fine particulate can lead to occupational asthma, skin disorders, rhinitis and, in the case of hardwood dust, a rare type of nasal cancer. The fumes associated with dyes and solvents also need to be managed effectively.
What's commonly overlooked is that as well as having a primary health benefit, a properly designed and installed extraction system also delivers productivity gains because maintaining a dust-free environment keeps machinery in optimum working condition and can avoid costly downtime caused by equipment contamination.
By law, all employers must assess the risk to worker health by reference to workplace exposure limits (WEL) set by the Health & Safety Executive under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations. Both airborne hardwood and softwood dusts have a WEL of 5mg/m³ averaged over an eight-hour period.
Not only must employers install appropriate LEV, ideally a fume and dust extraction system, they must also test each LEV system every 14 months (effectively every year) and keep records for five years.