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Footwear Manufacturing Fume Extraction

Ducting Express were contacted by a Health and Safety adviser acting on behalf of a long-established footwear manufacturer to look at a particular issue with glue fumes within their manufacturing facility. The particular problem was the curing of the glues when manufacturing the soles of the shoes.

Prior to designing the system, our experienced design engineer, Antony Squire, visited the customer’s site to discuss the options with both the Health and Safety Adviser and the company’s owner. During this visit, details of the existing control measures were ascertained and a proposal for improvement was asked to be supplied.

As existing LEV was already in place, we first had to assess its effectiveness of the customers current fume extraction system by implementing personal and static sampling to find what levels of contaminant the operatives were being exposed to. The air sampling was carried out in several areas of the factory in order to provide a full risk assessment of the exposure levels within the manufacturing process. The results of these tests allowed us to confirm that the existing LEV system already in place was not controlling the fumes adequately enough and it was determined that further action was required in the form of LEV to the sole laying area.

Ducting Express’ solution

Following several discussions and site meetings with the customer a new design for the sole laying area was proposed and approved.

Fume Extraction Layout

The new system comprised of an ATEX rated centrifugal extraction fan and associated connecting galvanised steel ducting to two gluing booths and a storage carousel. Two further connections with flexible hoods would be fitted to the acetate machines within this area.

Fume Extraction Fan Footwear drying racks

Following the process of the glue being applied to the soles of the shoe, they are stored in racks within this area of the workshop. The air samples taken within this area showed us that the levels of nuisance fumes were high in this area, so we therefore proposed to fit two additional roof fans for additional general ventilation to bring these levels down.

Roof Extraction Fans

Ducting Express duly carried out the installation of a new LEV system within the sole laying area. The installation was completed by our skilled fitters over a three-day period.

Following the installation and modifications to the existing LEV in the sole laying area we conducted not only a full LEV COSHH examination but further personnel and static sampling to determine the effectiveness of the new control measures implemented. The results showed that the exposure levels were now below the HSE’s Workplace Exposure Levels (WELs) for this area and the LEV system passed its legal test. Full COSHH reports were supplied to the customer in order to allow them to update their H&S records.

Are you looking for a similar solution or have questions about how we could help with fume extraction in your workshop? Please give us a call on 01455 616 444. Our team of knowledgeable design engineers would be happy to help you find the right solution.