Author Topic: Dust extractors - HSE guidance and do I really need to get rid of my midi's  (Read 8918 times)

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Offline Sweet

  • Posts: 46
I don't know if anyone else has come across this, but Ive heard from my tool dealer and read in a press release, that the HSE Inspectors are now insisting on M rated extractors for wood dust. Is there an easy fix to convert an L to an M extractor?

http://www.iosh.co.uk/~/media/Documents/Networks/Group/Construction/HSE_Discussion_Document_On-tool_extraction_in_Construction_Industry.ashx

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6579
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
The title shows it as a Discussion Document. Does that mean that it is a proposal they are taking into consideration and open to public input?

Tom

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3227
Is there an easy fix to convert an L to an M extractor?

No, there isn't.
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline joiner1970

  • Posts: 3222
Hi Dan

I've been hearing rumours regarding extraction and the hse for quite a while now but haven't looked at an details

Was thinking of you the other day, as I have been working right near that job you were doing in Englefield green Windsor. How did it turn out ? Have you finished yet ?

Offline VW MICK

  • Posts: 881
we had a HSE guy come to our site for a talk on dust extraction last week.iI was half an hour late for the talk so actually missed most of it but i do have the paper work on my desk .i will read it and let you know .but i know they are really clamping down on dust at the moment .its my biggest problem with the health and safety guys on site .but he was talking about HEPA .Im not really sure what that is but it seems to relate to dry wall sanders

Offline Peter Parfitt

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When I did my workshop dust study a little while ago I went through a lot of the HSE documents. I have just revisited some of them and it still seems to put the emphasis on measuring the local risk (with dust measuring kit), consulting the workforce and doing what is deemed to be the best practical effort to reduce the risk.

As far as I can tell (this is my opinion and not to be taken as fact) there is no regulation per se that forces anyone to use an M rather than L extractor. The HSE does say that for workshop clean-ups an M class should be used.

The acid test it to find out what your insurance company wish you to do.

One of my local professional workshops is required by their insurers to have their plumbed in extraction system tested each year. They make no stipulation about local collection from routers and sanders.

I am careful in my one man shop and use a CTL26 and when I am cutting MDF or Iroko or doing a cleanup I use a respirator as well.

Peter

Offline joiner1970

  • Posts: 3222
I've used extraction when I can on site and in private homes for years. In general though I've found a lot of people on sites don't. We finished a huge job last year up in London and hse came around quite often. Us and the floor layers were the only people on site using extraction. It just so happened that as a health and safety guy wandered round one day one of our guys was just about to make a cut without the extractor connected to his rail saw. He was stopped and told if he had cut in front of the guy then the site would have been closed.

Years ago no one really worried about extraction on mobile equipment but the above just goes to show how seriously they are taking it now.

Offline mr-gobby

  • Posts: 52
So on site are you running 110v extractors then Joiner? Are they Festool models? I had wondered about 240 or 110v, but hate lugging transformers around when not on sites which isn't often at all these days for me.
Mark

Offline joiner1970

  • Posts: 3222
Mark,

Lugging transformers round has never bothered me it just another tool to me.

We just had one midi on that site which was just about ok for 3 chippies.

Chris

Offline Dangermouse

  • Posts: 121
On most of the sites I've worked on in the past 12 months they've insisted on an M class dust extractor if it's being used to collect any kind on wood dust, ive struggles trying to find a ctm in 110v, I've ended up getting a bosch gas 35m afc and I've ended up using my midi just for site clean ups
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 04:06 PM by Dangermouse »

Offline mr-gobby

  • Posts: 52
Cheers Chris,
I think it stems from when I put a dint in my door unloading mine on an evening when I was tired. I now see the dint and curse transformers lol
Mark

Offline joiner1970

  • Posts: 3222
Lol we've all done that. Got a nice big scratch on my sliding door from a chisel. Where I was loading my tools after a long day

Offline Phil Beckley

  • Posts: 1518
Is there an easy fix to convert an L to an M extractor?

No, there isn't.

JRB totally correct. An air flow monitor is required for diffrent hose sizes and an audible warning for a blocked hose or full bag.
Phil

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3227
Phil,

Do you have any info you can offer pertaining to this? Surely there's someone at Festool who keeps abreast of changes in regulations that would apply to your products?


Jonathan
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline Dangermouse

  • Posts: 121
This is part of a she guide I was given on my last site, relating to cutting/sanding wood and M/H class dust extractors

Offline Samtor

  • Posts: 18
Perhaps off topic but based on your experience, how do you know when to change filter bags?


Offline wrightwoodwork

  • Posts: 410
Don't know about the festool vacs. On some vacs have say a light which comes on when the airflow drops off because either the bag is full or the hose is blocked.   

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Don't know about the festool vacs. On some vacs have say a light which comes on when the airflow drops off because either the bag is full or the hose is blocked.

Yes, my Numatics have that and they will power off if the motor gets too hot.

I find the best way is to get to know the noise your extractor(s) make and know when it is straining. Also, it is worth checking the bag at regular intervals.

Peter

Offline Dangermouse

  • Posts: 121
On my bosch, there's a warning alarm if the air flow drops below a preset limit, so it means either the filter or hose is blocked or the bag needs emptying

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6579
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
On my bosch, there's a warning alarm if the air flow drops below a preset limit, so it means either the filter or hose is blocked or the bag needs emptying

Do the rules allow you to empty the bag or does it have to be disposable bag?

Tom

Offline Dangermouse

  • Posts: 121
The last time HSE came on a site I was on, they said there were no rules (at that time) regarding the emptying of the machine as long as you minimize the dust cloud when you empty it,
It comes supplies with one disposable bin liner which makes it easier to empty, I personally use numatic hepa bags which fit inside a "Charles" Hoover, if I'm doing a lot of sanding I wait till their full before throwing them away, if I'm using my router or planer I slit the bag along the bottom and I've made a little clamp to reseal the bag, saves going through too many,

Offline Samtor

  • Posts: 18
Don't know about the festool vacs. On some vacs have say a light which comes on when the airflow drops off because either the bag is full or the hose is blocked.

Yes, my Numatics have that and they will power off if the motor gets too hot.

I find the best way is to get to know the noise your extractor(s) make and know when it is straining. Also, it is worth checking the bag at regular intervals.

Peter
Hi Peter,
I have the Fein Turbo I and there is no indicator. By checking the bag, do you mean to roughly feel whether it's half full or something like that? I thought (maybe wrongly) that with all the fine dust, the bag needs to be changed something like after 24 hours of usage? I am imagining that 24 hours of use would fill up at least half a bag and choke up the vacuum?
Thakns.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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  • Posts: 4512
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No Festool and Numatic bags are really well made.

I only change bags when...

    - they are almost full
    - the machine is labouring
    - after 1 year regardless of the above

I always check the filters when inspecting or changing a bag. During these inspections I vacuum off the filter with one of the other machines.

Peter

Offline Jak147

  • Posts: 113
So do festool make a midi that is class M? The ctm26 is a beast in comparison and would be out of place on small kitchen installs and the like

Offline festivus

  • Posts: 176
Phil - please could you clarify:

I have a Midi (before they upgraded motor).

As I understand it, in terms of dust filtration there is no difference between L and M rated vacs. Just that the M vacs have those additional warning features - is that correct?

Thanks.

Offline Sweet

  • Posts: 46
Hi Dan

I've been hearing rumours regarding extraction and the hse for quite a while now but haven't looked at an details

Was thinking of you the other day, as I have been working right near that job you were doing in Englefield green Windsor. How did it turn out ? Have you finished yet ?

Hi Chris,

Yep the job is all finished now, The gates were the last thing to go in and they were delivered to site a few weeks back. I'll post some pics when I get chance. I'm on a job in Central London now, more restoration work. Sliding sash windows, Eight panel doors etc.

Hows things with you?


Back to the thread,

Since my original post I've done some more research and it appears our beloved HSE (Health and Safety executive for those that don't know) were pushing for 'H rated' extractors to be mandatory in the UK when working with wood dust but this was found to be unworkable for a variety of reasons.

My understanding of the L,M and H ratings is in terms of risk:

L-Low
M-Medium
H-High

Wood dust and dust from related products, i.e. MDF are considered to be of Medium risk.

Ive been using Festool products since 2003 (I think?) first things I bought were a CTL 22 and Trion jigsaw. At the time I think I was in the minority of carpenters/joiners bothering with extraction. I always felt quite smug that I had limited clean up at the end of the day and got follow on work for the care and attention that I paid to site cleanliness and respect for working in peoples homes. My clients and I were sold on "dust free" working.

However, I don't recall any dealer (up until very recently) suggesting or informing me that in the wood industry we should only be using "M" rated extractors!

Between the Joiners shop and site teams we've got 12 Festool vacs, only one is "M" rated and that's the one for the Planex. Without an alternative I'm extremely reluctant to give up my Midi. Its the first tool in and out of the van!!

D   :'(
+


Offline Sweet

  • Posts: 46
When I did my workshop dust study a little while ago I went through a lot of the HSE documents. I have just revisited some of them and it still seems to put the emphasis on measuring the local risk (with dust measuring kit), consulting the workforce and doing what is deemed to be the best practical effort to reduce the risk.

As far as I can tell (this is my opinion and not to be taken as fact) there is no regulation per se that forces anyone to use an M rather than L extractor. The HSE does say that for workshop clean-ups an M class should be used.

The acid test it to find out what your insurance company wish you to do.

One of my local professional workshops is required by their insurers to have their plumbed in extraction system tested each year. They make no stipulation about local collection from routers and sanders.

I am careful in my one man shop and use a CTL26 and when I am cutting MDF or Iroko or doing a cleanup I use a respirator as well.

Peter

Good advice Peter, thank you.

The LEV testing you mention applies to all extraction systems when used in a professional environment. Even Festool extractors should be checked that they are still working at there stated flow and pressure ratings every 14 months.

D

Offline joiner1970

  • Posts: 3222
Dan,

Yeah all good here. Had a year of local ish (Egham) work probably the busiest year I've had. Nice to have a rest at xmas :). Glad I'm not up in London we did that job for a Russian billionaire in Knightsbridge for around 2 years that was just before I looked at your job. Then my back went :( still not right but I'm working ok, I've had to lol.

Anyway have a good Christmas and New year.