"A fully satisfactory and efficient service as in previous years. Really good service delivered professionally in every manner." - Whitgift School
Whitgift is one of Britain’s finest independent day/boarding schools for boys offering a rapidly expanding and spacious well equipped D&T Department, a facility which has always meet the necessary H&S legislation involved with the woodworking process and the different types of materials they use including manufactured wood boards such as MDF as well as soft and hard woods. P&J Dust Extraction have been working with Whitgift since 1998, and every year since then have carried out a statutory thorough Examination & Test on all fourteen of their LEV systems.
Annually P&J contact the Whitgift school to remind them that the anniversary of their test is approaching and to arrange a suitable date for their next one. During this contact we provide them with a full list of all the equipment that was tested last time and enquire if they have implemented all recommendations from last year’s report. If they haven’t we check to see if they would like these works to be carried out during their upcoming test visit, prior to the test.
On an ad hoc basis P&J also commission the installation of new units when it becomes necessary for the school to modify the existing LEV or install new units due to the inclusion of additional machinery. Earlier this year Whitgift’s D&T department added two new Startrite band saws. P&J’s Engineers specified and installed a PJBMV2.5 Manual Shake Fine Dust Unit as it is specifically designed to operate very quietly, typically 77 dB(A), so is ideal for use within the classroom to extract the fine dust generated from band saws.
Most band saw manufacturers, like the one that supplied Whitgift, only provide one dust extraction connection port, low down on the band saw. However a lot of fine dust is actually produced from the blade area and without a second extraction point at the blade the dust levels produced would be excessive. Therefore P&J also specified an extraction hood to ensure all the dust is captured. Once the installation was complete and to prove that the new LEV effectively controls the dust levels, emitted by the additional machinery, to as far below the WEL (Workplace Exposure Limit) as is reasonably practicable, P&J’s LEV engineer attended site to commission the new set up.
For part of the test the equipment needed to be in use so that our LEV engineer could carry out the dust sampling which is included within all P&J LEV reports. The LEV system was also tested at critical points throughout the ducting and extraction hoods connecting the machinery to the extraction unit. At each test point a variety of air pressure and air flow measurements were taken and assessed against the desired levels and compiled in a thorough and in-depth report. Also contained within the report is the condition of the LEV unit, its filters and cleaning mechanism, as well as noise levels.
When all of the testing was completed our LEV engineer labelled the LEV units and hoods, discussed his report findings with the D&T Technician and trained him how to use the new extraction system. He then advised on what routine checks would need to be carried out and finally before leaving, as after every LEV test, a new LEV Log book was issued to the Technician to complete with details of system user checks for the coming year. The completed LEV report was emailed to the Head of DT. The report’s front page clearly identifies whether or not the LEV is in good, clean, effective condition and if the hazardous substance is adequately controlled. Any improvements that may be required are listed; categorised into ‘essential’, ‘recommended’ or ’observation’.
The new LEV extraction system met all the required standards under the Health & Safety at Work Act, the COSHH Regulations and the HSE guidance in HSG 258 ‘Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work’. In fact the readings were truly impressive, the dust exposure when machining MDF – which is typically a worst case scenario for fine dust generation, was measured at 0.049 mg.m-3 an excellent, and very safe reading, less than 1% of the WEL. Whitgift School could once again remain confident of a safe working environment for the students and staff.