In industries that involve the soldering of electronic components, exposure to solder fumes is inevitable. Solder fumes usually come from burned rosin-based flux materials that are invariably used to create electrical connections – causing hazards that can be detrimental to employee health. However, you can use our fume extraction systems to minimise exposure to these fumes and reduce health hazards. Read on to find out more about these health risks, and how our fume extraction solutions will provide you with a safer work environment.
A naturally occurring material obtained from pine trees, rosin or colophony is an adhesive used in soldering processes. As the flux material, it is commonly used to prevent oxidation, as it cleans the surface and improves the effectiveness of the solder or the metal – to assure a permanently bonded connection.
Solder fumes occur as a result of heated rosin-based fluxes – this contains a range of resin acid particulates which can cause long-term discomfort and ill health.
As solder fumes rise vertically during hand soldering practices, they can enter the human body through the breathing zone. Failure to manage the spread of solder fumes can lead to a significant reduction in employee productivity, potentially causing further downtime.
Exposure to solder fumes from resin or colophony-based solder flux can lead to a multitude of health hazards:
Employers are responsible for the welfare of their workers; failure to comply will result in poor employee relations and possible legal action. Airbench solutions can help dramatically with most hazardous fumes and extract them efficiently, however you’ll still need to ensure you comply with necessary workplace regulations.
AirBench offer several different products to assist with this particular hazard:
A drop in downdraught bench designed for light industrial use. DB is available in a range of configurations and can be supplied with filters suitable for solder fume. DB is simply installed to your existing workbench to give you a fully extracted work surface.
A heavy duty downdraught bench designed for heavy industrial use. FN is available in a range of configurations and can be supplied with filters suitable for solder fume.
Designed with kneespace, the FPK allows for comfortable working full time. Like the FP and FN, the FPK has a variety of different specifications available and can be configured for solder fume.
FP models are available with a wide range of options when compared to FN types, so are used for specific types of installation; however FP can also be supplied with filters suitable for solder fume extraction.
While AirBench can help you comply with the regulations, there are still duties which fall on you as an employer.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) requires employers in the soldering industry to control employee exposure to colophony-based solder fume – and employers MUST comply.
Through a thorough risk assessment, employers can identify the causes and control solder fume exposure and inhalation. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests employers:
Employees must be wary of the many hazards triggered by solder fumes. Posture affects how they are exposed to and how they inhale solder fumes. Proper working posture, adequate ventilation and the use of fume extraction systems is vital to avoid health-related risks.
Fume extraction systems are essential in industries where soldering is fundamental to the overall production process, as they minimise solder fume exposure and reduce the risk of fire or explosions in the workplace. They also help to manage health hazards, while allowing companies to comply with local and national requirements at minimal cost – employers can save money.
While solder fumes are inevitable in certain environments, by taking the proper steps to minimise inhalation and exposure, this can help to manage any associated health risks.
With over 100 years’ experience in the industry, AirBench provides high quality fume extraction solutions that can assure safer working environments! For more information about our products, please call 01206 791191 or email us at email@example.com.
INDUSTRY | Electronics Industry
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AirBench Ltd are the UK’s leading manufacturer of downdraught benches and cross draught extraction systems. We have more than 10,000 extraction systems in service in the UK and overseas. Along with our range of coolant mist filters and air cleaning systems, we are actively helping businesses across many industries solve their workplace dust and fume issues.
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If you’d like to try an AirBench product for FREE simply book a demo and we’ll bring one to you.