What is Local Exhaust Ventilation and Why Might You Need It?

There are many hazards found within industrial and manufacturing facilities. Some are more apparent than others. While concerns such as dangerous machinery and caustic chemicals need to be taken seriously, we also need to highlight air quality. Certain environments are associated with airborne contaminants such as dust, fumes and fine particulate matter. As some of these substances can have serious health effects, it is important to ensure that workers remain safe at all times. This can often be accomplished through the use of a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system. How does this apparatus function, what benefits can it provide and how can it be effectively sourced? Let us delve into all three of these relevant questions.

A Brief Look at Local Exhaust Ventilation

As the name already suggests, this system is intended to remove potentially damaging particulate matter and fumes from the local environment. Some of the substances which can be addressed by these units include:

  • Noxious fumes
  • Fine dust (such as silica)
  • Carcinogenic compounds
  • Mists

The first step will involve removing these and other contaminants from the air through the use of dust and fume extraction fans and filters. The materials will then be safely stored away and (if necessary), the systems can supply a ready source of fresh air. These systems vary in terms of size as well as their intended applications.

AirBench offer several different products to assist with the removal of dust and fumes, as well as other contaminants:


AirBench FN

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.

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AirBench FPK

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.

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AirBench FP

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.

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What Are Some of the Associated Benefits?

There are many benefits which can be attributed to an extract ventilation system. The most obvious is safety. These units can prevent serious health conditions such as:

  • Allergic asthma
  • COPD
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Eye, nose ad throat irritation
  • Some forms of respiratory cancers

We should also note that the workers themselves will feel much more comfortable within the environment. This can lead to higher levels of productivity, less sick days and fewer complaints. There may also be times when these very same extraction systems will help to protect delicate machinery from being contaminated by airborne hazards. This is particularly relevant when referring to electrical components and similarly sensitive products. Thus, extraction systems provide an excellent return on investment from a long-term point of view.

Encountering the Most Appropriate System for Your Needs

The first step involves identifying what hazards need to be mitigated. This is due to the fact that certain extraction units are designed for specific purposes. It is also wise to determine the amount of available floor space as well as the volume of air associated with the location in question. Other factors may include the type of filters employed and whether or not a machine has been designed to address multiple contaminants.

Of course, it is always wise to speak with a professional in order to come to a clear conclusion. Not only can these extraction units provide you with a peace of mind, but you will be able to protect the health and safety of all employees.

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Why choose AirBench?

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.


If you'd like to try an AirBench product for FREE simply book a demo and we'll bring one to you.