Airbus acts against chromate dust concerns

Posted on 4 Nov 2011 by The Manufacturer

The aircraft manufacturer has installed ventilation systems in its fettling facility, after concerns were raised about workers being exposed to skin contamination and inhalation of chromate dust particles.

Hosokawa Micron Ltd, a clean air and containment specialist, was chosen to oversee the project by the Hawker team.

Rae Carroll, project engineer of Airbus, said: “Hosokawa Micron engineers worked closely with our team refining and modifying the system specifications to ensure we achieved the optimum solution. These discussions became the catalyst for improvement in our operations which resulted in a very successful installation, which is of interest throughout other areas of the Airbus business.”

The installation included two down flow booths, one fixed fettling booth, three mobile fettling trolleys and ancillary systems, which eliminate the need for Hawker engineers to wear protective equipment.

Dust particles will be extracted to an external filter unit with compressed air pulse jet cleaning system. Dust collected by the filter cartridge will be collected in an external sealed bin for easy removal and disposal.

Environment, health and safety controller, Mark Richards, added: “We were very impressed with the high standard of the manuals, they are very comprehensive. This has made it easier for the workers to be trained in operation of the booths and the writing of standard procedures.”

This solution is designed to reduce operator exposure to potentially harmful fettling dust, polishing dust and swarf created in production of painted and non-painted metal parts or panels. The will booths create a safe working environment for operators undertaking polishing, drilling or filing activities where airborne particles are generated.

The installation has led to a substantial reduction in the risk posed by chromate dust. The project team is now working with other areas of the business on site to implement the system.