Dangers of tampering with fume extraction systems

event img

Tampering with your fume extraction system can not only cause it to work ineffectively, but it can be a health and safety risk to your business.

Of course, as a fume extraction system provider and manufacturer, we do see our fair share of ‘horrors’ out in the field. Whether that’s seeing unnecessary drill holes drilled into our high-quality equipment or creating unneeded test points within the system itself, problems like these can cause the product to become unsafe, and disable it from conducting its job properly in the first place.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to highlight how important it is for businesses to know how to correctly use a fume extraction system, how to make sure that it is regularly maintained and how to avoid any tampering issues.

Spot the problem

1. 400i drilled

One of our clients, an LEV company, has drilled into a customer machine next to a test point. This was drilled into our 400i product to create another unnecessary test point. It could be argued that this is a company that charges by test point, and is encouraged to create more test points – however, by performing this drilling, it has damaged the fume extraction system itself and invalidated the warranty.

2. 5000i drilled

In this example of our 5000i product, we can see that the LEV company drilled into a customer’s brand-new machine – without permission or need. Not only would this then cause the product to potentially be unsafe, but without the permission of the customer, the company would be at fault for replacing the product.

3. Drilled hose

This picture shows that the flexible hose can cause a large amount of turbulence if used in this way. Measuring during the hole will always give a fluctuating reading, and the bung was not sufficient to create and airtight seal. These factors, in turn, would mean the fume extraction system could fail to operate effectively.

4. Drilled filter

Through this LEV test, the customer explained that when the machine went into the alarm setting, they simply drilled holes into the filter to check if that fixed it. Not only did this expose the person who drilled the filter to a concentrated dose of the contaminates in the filter, but it also defeated the point of having a filter – as everything the machine was extracting was unfiltered and regurgitated back into the workplace.

5. Unneeded test point

In this image, we can see that the opening of the extraction hood and the drilled test point will provide the same airflow velocity – which shows the use of another unneeded test point.

Dangers incorrect fume extractions systems can cause

If a fume extraction system is tampered with, this can cause a few dangers to not only the health and safety of your business and employees, but your business equipment, too, potentially causing company downtime.

  • Employee health – being exposed to fumes, gases and dust on a long-term basis can create a number of health concerns. These can range from as mild as itching and a cold to lung damage and occupational asthma.
  • Environment – by allowing these fumes to travel through the air, this can have an adverse effect on the environment.
  • Business downtime – these fumes also have the capability to damage the equipment your business uses, too, so tampering with a fume extraction system could lead to company downtime.

Learn more about what happens if you don’t have a fume extraction system, or tamper with your fume extractor, from our detailed guide.

Regular fume extraction system maintenance

LEV testing (Local Exhaust Ventilation) is conducted on your fume extraction system at least every 14 months from when your product is installed. This ensures that a thorough examination of all of your equipment is conducted, and that the equipment is working effectively and safely in the workplace. Learn more about how LEV testing works and how to book your LEV test now from our helpful guides.

For more information on tampering with your fume extracting equipment, or simply around fume extraction systems in general, get in touch with us today.