Dust extraction on an overhead router
Trenching operations are carried out on a woodworking router to make footboards for tram and train drivers. The trenching operation forces chipboard and wood dust to be thrown sideways from the router. Trenching is a common process and an excessive amount of airborne dust is created when the task is carried out.
The airborne dust is a hazard to the carpenter that operates the router. Also, the dust which accumulated in the workshop made the area a fire hazard and unpleasant. A dust extraction system was in place on the machine (behind the cutting head) but it was ineffective for trenching tasks.
A prototype ‘chute’ (capture hood) was built out of Perspex and was connected to the dust extraction system. The prototype was attached to the head of the router on a slide, which adjusts in height with the head of the router. When tested, it was seen (through the Perspex) how effective the new system was.
The prototype was a success in collecting almost all of the dust ejected sideways during the trenching operation. Consequently, a galvanised steel version of the chute was built by tradespeople in the workshop. This chute has been used on all trenching operations since its introduction.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- Around 95% of the dust ejected during trenching has been extracted with the help of the new attachment.
- Healthier and safer conditions are now apparent as the operator is not breathing in dust.
- The workplace is now a cleaner, safer and more pleasant to work in with reduced risk of fire.