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smandeir  
#1 Posted : 09 June 2021 12:59:46(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
smandeir

I have recently started working in a brick factory, and I am horrified at the amount of dust everywhere despite huge LEV's all over the place. Nothing seems to keep it at bay, and people have to wear FFP3 masks or Air fed masks constantly. I am told this is normal for the brick manufacturing industry.

Does anyone have any experience of this or can anyone give advice on what can be done to alleviate the situation? All the LEV's are regularly tested and certified.

A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 10 June 2021 08:54:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Ok LEV is used to control the level of airborne contamination in a workplace and there is a legal requirement to test the LEV regularly.  Unfortunately, most people’s approach to testing is inadequate: they simply measure the level of “suck” that the LEV produces and if it reaches a certain arbitrary face velocity or  similar measurement it is deemed to have passed the test. That’s not what the HSE expect. What they want to see is  evidence that the system is providing the optimum level of actual user protection against the airborne hazard you are dealing with. From your description it seems that might not be the case.

See the HSE’s “Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV)”

HSG258 for more information.

 

peter gotch  
#3 Posted : 10 June 2021 13:10:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

To add to what AK has already said, this is an old problem which has attracted lots of attention over the years.

RR689 - Silica baseline survey: Annex 1 - Brickmaking industry (hse.gov.uk)

If a significant part of the workforce need to use respiratory protective equipment, it suggests that processes may be less than modern (and there might be good reasons for using traditional methods).

But, you should probably be considering how well individual processing operations are enclosed and/or where local exhaust ventilation is positioned in relation to dust producing operations. 

P

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