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Industrial ventilation is of paramount importance to ensure the safety
and well-being of employees. In industries where employees are
subjected to dangerous chemicals, vapours and gasses on a daily basis,
effective industrial ventilation can mean the difference between life
and death. The basic concepts behind industrial ventilation are quite
simple, but for it to be effective, the ventilation system needs to be
installed by an experienced engineer.
Industrial ventilation is a method of controlling employee exposure
toxic chemicals, volatile airborne substances and flammable vapours by
removing the contaminated air and replacing it with clean, fresh air.
Used in a variety of different industries where poisonous vapours may
be a problem, industrial ventilation is most often employed to remove
welding and solvent vapours, oil mists and poisonous or volatile dust.
But industrial ventilation may not always be necessary. True, it should
be preferable for the continued health of your employees, but
regulations suggest that industrial ventilation only becomes compulsory
•the levels of contaminants exceed regulated levels;
•the lower explosive limit of flammable vapours is exceeded; or
•when the oxygen concentration in an area drops below 19.5%.
Industrial ventilation should also be considered before respirators.
Not only is the system easier to maintain, but, in the long run, is a
much more cost effective method of air purity control.
There are a number of industrial ventilation options available
depending on the circumstances of your industry's circumstances. The
most basic is indoor quality ventilation that aims to provide fresh air
throughout a building as part of the existing ventilation system. This
option is primarily used in offices but can be effective in small
industries where the concentration of contaminants is low.
Easy to maintain and inexpensive to set up is dilution ventilation.
This form of industrial ventilation uses large and powerful exhaust
fans to extract contaminated air and to draw in clean air. It is very
effective in clearing flammable vapours but is less effective for metal
fumes or large concentrations of highly toxic materials. Depending on
where the industry is located, the incoming air may require a lot of
cooling or heating before it can be introduced into the industrial
ventilation system, increasing the cost of using the system.
Dilution ventilation uses the simple principles of displacement and
dilution to function. Some of the contaminated air is removed and
replaced with large amounts of fresh air. The concentration of the
contamination is effectively lowered, making it safer for people to
work in the area.
A more localised industrial ventilation system is local exhaust
ventilation. This system captures the contaminations at the source and
expels it before it has a chance to disperse into the air. For highly
toxic contaminants or high concentrations, this industrial ventilation
is probably one of the best. It does not require large amounts of fresh
incoming air since the exhaust of contaminants is localised. This
effective ventilation comes at a higher cost and more frequent
Local exhaust ventilation works like a vacuum cleaner forcing
contaminated air to move from a high concentration to a low
concentration. It is perhaps one of the most effective industrial
ventilation systems because it removes the contaminants at the source
before it has a chance to spread.
There are effective industrial ventilation systems available for any
industry. Some are simple to use, like dilution ventilation, while
others are specifically made for highly toxic environments, like local
exhaust ventilation. Whatever the decision, as long as the industrial
ventilation keeps your employees safe from the contaminations of the
substances they work with, it is doing its job.