For over 500,000 Americans working in the welding, cutting, and brazing industries there are many unique hazards which are present in their every day work. Fine dust and fumes created during welding and cutting can prove to dangerous and even deadly if not properly handled.
Millions of Workers Are at Risk of Silicosis
Research shows that an estimated 1 million U.S. workers are at risk of developing silicosis. Laborers involved in the cutting of granite can be at an elevated risk of this disease because granite can be composed of up to 70% silica. Acute silicosis can develop after only a few weeks of exposure to very high levels of silica. Hundreds of workers in the U.S. die from silicosis each year while many face long term disabilities which prevent them from caring for their families.
Combustible Dust Incidents Lead to Injuries, Death and Property Damage
Without an adequate combustible dust collection system, workers can be at risk of explosions. In a study, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board identified a reported 281 combustible dust incidents from 1980 to 2005. These incide3nts directly led to the deaths of 119 workers and injured an additional 718. The explosions were also responsible for damaging several industrial facilities.
Importance of Industrial Dust Collection Systems
In 2014 a call to action was made by The US Chemical Safety Board which urged OSHA to consider new, sterner regulations concerning the use of dust collection and fume extraction systems in the work place. There are generally two categories of mechanical ventilation, the low-vacuum and high-vacuum industrial dust collection systems. By using an adequate combustible dust or fume extraction system it can drastically reduce the risk of injury or long term health implications. If you work with materials that may produce a large amount of dust or fumes,as a hobbyist or a professional, insure that you are taking the proper ventilation