Mechanical workshops: with the arrival of the cold season, the air quality problem returns
With the arrival of the warm season, mechanical workshops tend to open their doors to provide a better working environment.
But with the incoming of the first cold weather these are closed again and the problem of ensuring an environment in terms of thermal comfort and air quality returns.
So, is it better to keep the doors open or closed? Often within the same companies the debates on the subject are heated and for various reasons. Below we will try to provide useful information on the subject.
Machine shops carry out work that can emit oil-laden and dusty fumes, which are therefore harmful, and require adequate ventilation. All these precautions related to air recirculation are necessary because the mechanical workshops must ensure a suitable working environment for the operators in terms of lighting, temperature and air exchange as per D.Lgs.81/08, Annex IV (Requirements of workplaces). If in the hot season the practice of opening the doors can bring benefits only to the cooling of the environment, but not in terms of quality, in the cold period the damage will be more evident. Keeping the doors closed, the environment will have a very bad air quality; on the other hand, opening them would excessively cool the workshop, thus failing to ensure thermal comfort to the operators, except for the increase of heating with related consumption.
Opening the workshop doors wide could cause greater damage to environmental conditions, not only in terms of thermal comfort, but also causing smog and dust to enter, with further repercussions on the health of those who work there and on the systems. These factors make it clear that recirculating air from outside could be more harmful than anything else, not only from a health point of view, but also from an environmental and economic one.
How to improve indoor air quality in mechanical workshops?
It is evident that opening the doors thinking that fresh air will help recirculation is just a belief that has obsolete foundations by now. In fact, putting in place this practice will only have inconveniences, such as:
- Leakage to the outside of processing fumes laden with polluting oils and dusts;
- Increasing of pollutants in the environment;
- Heat dispersion inside the company and therefore an increase in heating costs;
- Worsening of the quality of the air breathed by workers, with consequent risks to their health;
- Uncontrolled costs to ensure the thermal comfort of operators;
- Failure to comply with Legislative Decree 81/08 Annex IV concerning the suitability of the work environment.
So how to improve the quality of air inside mechanical workshops? The solution is undoubtedly to use special filtration systems capable of eliminating dust and oils from the atmosphere.
In this way, not only will the air be cleaner and more breathable, but it will not increase the already high levels of environmental pollution present outside. In addition, the installation of these systems will reduce the residual dirt on the machinery, prolonging its life and reducing expenses for extraordinary maintenance.