According to NSW WorkCover, the manufacture of wood products often results in the generation of fine airborne wood particles and dust.
Typical woodworking activities that produce dust are machining operations (eg sawing, routing, turning) and hand or machine sanding.
Other sources of breathable wood dust are when bagging of dust from local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems, and using compressed air to blow dust off articles and dry sweeping of factory floors.
Formaldehyde is used in the production of manufactured wood such as MDF. When first made the unsealed surface of the boards may release some formaldehyde gas, but this quickly dissipates during initial storage.
Air monitoring results confirm that when manufactured wood products are cut or sanded, the only significant airborne hazard is exposure to wood dust. Provided that the wood dust is adequately controlled using LEV then exposure to all other airborne hazards (including formaldehyde) is negligible.
On that point, ducting specialist Eximo's philosophy is simple – to provide Australia's woodworkers with a range of ducted waste disposal solutions that are second to none.
According to Eximo/speedLOCKS's founder and managing director Roger Marriott, research and testing is key to ensuring that Australia's woodworking industry has access to the best ducting technology anywhere in the world. speedLOCK Ducting, now in it's 30th year and a family owned Australian company, is one very good way to satisfy this criteria.
"There are a number of reasons why a wood manufacture's machinery may need upgrading, reconfiguring or even relocating says," Roger, "therefore, the waste disposal system you install must be designed appropriately," he says.
For this reason says Roger, "… we are continually researching, developing and testing new products to ensure that as manufacturing technique advance, we have the ducted disposal system to meet any specific woodworking requirements."
According to Roger, the two that are the most widely used are flexible ducting and non-flexible or modular steel ducting.
Flexible dusting is mainly made from various grades and weights of PVC, Polyurethane or rubber- the higher the grade and weight, the tougher the flexible ducting.
Thanks to its versatility, speedLOCK's Modular Steel Ducting can be used for everything from wood and metal shavings, to agricultural and milling waste, food waste from confectionary production, to paper waste, liquid waste and welding fume removal.
Since speedLOCK Modular Steel Ducting is manufactured using only smooth bore technology, it greatly minimises the risk of wood waste settlement and system clogging. All bends and changes of direction are gradually radiused to minimize opportunities for clogging and blockage. All joints are made using lockrings, which makes assembly and breakdown a breeze.
Moreover, for applications where some clogging is unavoidable, the system's easy access makes cleaning and maintenance literally a breeze.
Eximo flexible ducting is chemical resistance and offers flame retardation and offers high flexibility, excellent axial compressibility and is resistant to aggressive and abrasive fumes and dust.
When it comes to wood dust, NSW WorkCover is clear: companies need to use a Local exhaust ventilation system or LEV.
According to NSW WorkCover, LEV is the standard industry practice and the following points may assist when reviewing its design and effectiveness:
• Avoid long lengths of flexible ducting that can be easily damaged
• Cap or close any unused openings or branches to maximize dust capture
• Do not use open ducts to try to capture the dust as it is generated, this is ineffective
• Keep hard ducting short and simple, avoid right angle bends.
Roger Marriot says Eximo/speedLOCK ducting, has been designed to work well within the myriad of worker safety laws and other health parameters.
For more information, please contact:
Karen Browne, General Manager
186 Newton Road, Wetherill Park 2164
ph: (02) 9757 1233