Working Safely with Metalworking Fluids

This month McCarthy Environmental Business Development Manager Andy Shearer takes a closer look at oil mist and how the ESTA OILMAC can help to keep employees safe.

What are the dangers of oil mist arising from metalworking and machining?

Workers who are exposed to oil mist from using cooling lubricants during machining processes are at risk of developing skin disorders, such as dermatitis, or respiratory problems, such as occupational asthma, bronchitis, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, breathing difficulties or even a rarer lung disease known as extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA).

What causes oil mist and fumes during the use of cooling lubricants?

Oil mist and fumes can be caused by mechanical effect – through vaporisation of the cooling lubricant around quick rotating tools such as milling, turning and grinding. They can also be caused through the condensation of vaporised cooling lubricant on warm surfaces, such as warm components stored in the open polluting ambient air with emissions. All surfaces coated with cooling lubricants could be

considered as a source of emission. The warmer the surface, the greater the risk of contamination, which increases the risk to employees.

What regulations are in place?

COSHH regulations require exposure to metalworking fluids by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact to be prevented where reasonably practicable, or failing that, adequately controlled. Implementation of exposure control measures, such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems will help to control this and reduce the risk.

What products can be used?

Oil mist separators, as part of an effective LEV system, will control oil mist and aerosols produced during metalworking operations. As an alternative to centrifugal impaction units, the ESTA OILMAC, as a mechanical filter unit, is a powerful oil mist separator with many benefits. For example, the unit design allows for tool free access without the need for specialist service engineers, making maintenance and filter cleaning or filter changes quick and easy, saving time and money on servicing and maintenance costs.

Get in touch with Andy to see if the OILMAC system could help your business:

Tel: 01604 653333

Email: andy@mccarthy-environmental.co.uk

Find out more about the ESTA OILMAC here.

Useful links from the HSE:

About Metalworking Fluids: http://www.hse.gov.uk/metalworking/about.htm

Working Safely With Metalworking Fluids – A Guide for Employees: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg365.pdf

Take a closer look at the OILMAC

Oil Mist Separators

Oil mist separators, as part of an effective LEV system, will control oil mist and aerosols produced during metalworking operations.

ESTA OILMAC Range only available in the UK from McCarthy Environmental

As an alternative to centrifugal impaction units, the ESTA OILMAC, as a mechanical filter unit, is a powerful oil mist separator with key benefits. For example, the unit design allows for tool free access without the need for specialist service engineers, making maintenance and filter cleaning or filter changes quick and easy, saving time and money on servicing and maintenance costs.

Key benefits of the OILMAC include:

  • Effective control and filtration of oil and emulsion mists which arise when using cooling lubricants for machining processes
  • Savings where collected and condensed coolants are returned back to the coolant tank
  • Installation – directly mounted onto machine enclosure, stand mount or floor standing options are available.
  • Three-stage filtration system:
  • Pre-separator: a wear free mesh separator and class G4 filter pad separates coarse and solid particles.
  • Main separator: a washable main separator filters the aerosols where they may then be returned to the machine coolant reservoir via drains integrated within the filter housing or discharged into a waste tank.
  • A HEPA H13 filter extracts the remaining aerosols, providing separation efficiency of 99.95% or above.
  • Unit design allows for tool free access, making in-house maintenance and filter cleaning or filter changes quick and easy, saving time and money on servicing and maintenance costs, all without the need for specialist tools or training.
  • Filtered clean air is returned to the work area to help save heat and energy.

Space saving design:

ESTA Oilmac range space saving design

OILMAC devices are usually directly installed on the enclosure of the processing machine and connected with a hose.

Easy Filter Change:

OILMAC Easy Filter Change

The inlet and fan unit module or the inspection opening allows easy access to the device interior. This enables service or filter changes to be quick and easy without the need for specialist tools.

99.95% Separation Efficiency:

The OILMAC 3-stage filter system.

The most important content in the OILMAC series is the three-stage filter system, including HEPA filter with separation efficiency of 99.95 %. Long life filters guarantee low operating costs.

ESTA OILMAC Range only available in the UK from McCarthy Environmental

Pre-Separator: a wear-free separator made of metal mesh, and a class G4 filter pad, separate coarse and solid particles.

Main Separator: the washable main separator redirects the air stream to separate the aerosols. Gravity directs these down through the siphon connection, where they can be discharged.

Secondary Filter: an HEPA H 13 filter extracts the remaining aerosols with 99.95 % efficiency. Alternatively, a combination mesh separator can also be used.

Controlling oil and emulsion mist not only contributes to employee health, the separators also help minimise coolant deposits within the machine enclosure, which helps reduce machine cleaning and maintenance costs.

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