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Laser engraving and cutting can produce harmful fumes and dust.

People may not need engraved mementos all the time – but when they want to mark special occasions, a laser engraving and cutting machine can help create the right product.

Laser engraving and cutting machines are often the heart of small businesses that rely on creativity and the ability to engrave memories into keepsake items.

Most of these customized engravings are done in the store, and many engravers use computers connected to engraving machines and 3D designs to stand out among others.

Many businesses also combine laser engraving and cutting services with other services such as design, business branding and marketing as well as product design.

In industrial settings, laser engraving is also often used to mark certain products and materials.

What are the health risks of laser engraving and cutting?

Laser engravers and cutters work with wood, glass or other hard surfaces to engrave logos, messages of personal interest and for special occasions such as wedding or anniversary presents. They also make glass and acrylic awards for companies and sporting organizations.

The laser cutting machines should ideally produce smooth edges that don’t require polishing, they should work quietly and produce no dust, and they should have a fast processing speed, high precision, less waste and high efficiency.

Unfortunately, even large laser cutting machine manufacturers acknowledge that the dust and fumes produced in the engraving process can pose a health hazard.

That is why many machines come with a blower, vacuum, fan or other device to pull dust and fumes from the work area of the laser machine. Not only can the dust damage the equipment itself and destroy the optics, the fumes can be irritating and unhealthy.

How do air cleaners help?

By connecting a portable air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPAto the laser cutting machine, operators can remove chemical vapors, laser cutting fumes and fine particles while preventing the constant clogging that plagues other air cleaning systems.

RSU Series: Electrocorp’s carbon + HEPA filters can remove dust, gases and other contaminants.

Electrocorp has developed highly effective source capture air cleaners for laser engraving and cutting, to remove airborne pollutants before they become airborne and circulate.

This capture method offers superior protection for laser cutters and engravers, prevents product contamination and safeguards sensitive laser optics on the machine.

For more information, contact Electrocorp: 866-667-0297.

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Synthetic chemicals in cleaning products can affect building occupants’ health and well-being.

Many people and workers identify a clean room or building with a “fresh” scent, especially when it comes to washrooms, lobbies, cafeterias and general office and classroom areas.

But the fragrances used in many scented products contain a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals.

In addition, a growing number of people suffer from allergic-type reactions when exposed to these fragrances. Those with sensitivities have reported respiratory problems, nausea and other health effects.

A clean building is a must – but overpowering scents such as floral, lemon or pine are not, no matter what advertising spots and the media will have us believe.

Products that clean without leaving a fake scent are also often better for the environment and just as effective for cleaning purposes.

No scent cleaning products are now much more common, meaning they won’t be too costly to use (plus, buying in bulk helps to offset costs, too).

Facility management experts have compiled a list of steps to go from chemical hazards to a scent-free policy:

  1. Draft a No Scent Policy: The policy should involve a number of key managers, human resource staff and health and safety employees. For a sample policy, go to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
  2. Open communication channels with building occupants: Everyone should be aware of the policy and the reasons behind it. This can be done with brochures, flyers, newsletters, presentations or other processes.
  3. Set a realistic deadline: Building managers will need time to remove fragrance dispensers in rooms, research no scent cleaning products and train the cleaning staff in how to use the new products.
  4. Make a list of approved unscented cleaning products available. This will avoid confusion as to what is and isn’t allowed in the building.
  5. Put up signs that alert building occupants and visitors that the building is now scent-free.
  6. Anticipate complains and concerns. Make a plan on how to deal with non compliant building occupants.

Source: Wood Wyant Sanitation Solutions

Control odors and indoor air pollutants with portable air cleaners

Cleaning chemicals are a major culprit for indoor air pollution, so switching over to scent-free, greener alternatives will go a long way in reducing exposure for workers.

The air in office buildings and other workplaces often still contains airborne chemicals and contaminants from building materials, electronic equipment, printer ink, paint fumes, dust, mold, bacteria and viruses.

That is why Electrocorp has developed powerful portable air cleaners for facility management, office buildings, office printers and other industrial and commercial applications.

The air cleaners feature a highly effective activated carbon + HEPA filtration system that can remove irritating chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, bacteria, viruses, mold, particles, allergens and more.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and available options.

Gone are the days that flat roofs need to be black tar – now they can be white, green, blue and solar-panel black.

On the green roof of the Mountain Equipment Co...

On the green roof of the Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Toronto, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These different kinds of green roofs help solve serious environmental concerns, including air pollution, urban heat spots, storm water runoff and more.

Turning roofs into gardens or painting them white helps them to have much lower surface temperatures. A city’s average temperature is often much higher than in the surrounding suburbs (where more green spaces and trees provide more shade).

Green roofs can retain 75 percent of a one-inch rainfall and use the moisture to cool down.

The idea of green roofs is not new, but it has become a more popular choice in the past 50 years or so, especially in Europe, where Germany’s green roofs top the list (10 percent of roofs in Germany are considered green).

Costs of green roofs

Greening a roof requires some work and money and a lot of different materials: Insulation, waterproof membranes, barriers to control roots, drainage layers (gravel or clay), mats for erosion prevention, lightweight soil and plants.

Depending on the types of plants and maintenance work involves, a green roof can cost $15 to $30 per square foot.

But factoring in air conditioning and heating costs all year round, the expense may well be worth it.

Researchers from Columbia University and City University of New York found that a green roof can cut the rate of heat gained through the roof in summer by 84 percent, and the rate of heat lost through the roof in winter by 34 percent.

English: Chicago City Hall Green Roof

English: Chicago City Hall Green Roof (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reducing the storm runoff water can help curb sewer overflows and improve public health.

Green roofs can also help reduce air pollution in the city. One square meter can absorb all the emissions from a car being driven 12,000 miles a year, experts say.

Source: New York Times

Air cleaners for healthier buildings

Greener roofs may help with reducing air pollution, but until they become mainstream, many workers and city dwellers will be exposed to the harmful fumes, gases and particulate matter polluting the city.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for facility management, offices and other applications.

The portable or HVAC-compatible air cleaners feature a complete air filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA plus optional UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The air filters can capture airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses, allergens, mold and more.

For more information, contact Electrocorp today.

Random safety inspections work, study shows.

Researchers have shown that inspections of industrial workplaces in the US don’t hurt businesses and in fact lower the risk of workplace injuries.

The study showed that there was a decrease in worker injuries in companies that were inspected compared to companies that weren’t.

The inspected companies, chosen by the California’s OSHA for random inspections, had 9.4 percent fewer worker injuries.

Those companies also didn’t hurt in other ways and contrary to public opinion were not forced to cut jobs, lose sales, get lowered credit ratings, or go out of business because of the inspections when compared to those that were not inspected.

Inspections criticized from both sides

The study was inspired by the ongoing criticism against OSHA from both sides – the labor side thinks the agency isn’t doing enough to protect workers and the employer side thinks that it imposes unnecessary costs.

The study involved 409 businesses in California in a variety of industries, including woodworking and metalworking, which were randomly inspected by OSHA between 1996 and 2006 as well as 409 comparable companies that were not inspected.

The study shows that inspections help in keeping workers safe and that they are also good for business, experts say.

Critics argue that the study authors didn’t focus on the main issues – namely, regulations – which may have hurt businesses.

The research is published in the journal Science.

Source: Reuters

Air cleaners to reduce chemical exposure at the workplace

The problem with chemical exposure is that even at presumably safe limits, experts are divided about the effect these exposures can have over the long term – although some long-term exposures have been linked to serious health effects such as cancer and respiratory diseases.

In any case, it’s arguably better to have fewer chemicals floating around in the ambient air than more.

Electrocorp has developed portable and highly efficient air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications that can help remove those harmful chemicals, odors and fumes.

The air cleaners feature a proven activated carbon and HEPA filtration system with some of the largest adsorbent surface areas and the most customizable options.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

News and research

Health and safety measures are a must to protect workers and the company itself.

A company is learning a hard lesson about the importance of health and safety: It faces 12 citations for safety violations after a worker died and another was hospitalized in November.

The workers were overcome by fumes from toluene, a toxic chemical.

According to OSHA, the men did not wear any respiratory protection while working with toluene and they were exposed to higher levels than allowed.

The company specializes in coating production and microscreens and uses toluene, a clear and colorless liquid, as a solvent.

The small company failed to monitor toluene air concentrations, adjust ventilation systems when working with toluene, control ignition sources, come up with a hazard communication program, offer worker training on the hazards of coating material and implement other safety measures.

The company can respond to the complaint and defend itself.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

Control airborne chemicals and fumes with air cleaners

Part of a comprehensive health and safety program includes the use of air cleaners to mitigate risks of chemical and toxic exposures.

Electrocorp has designed portable and attachable air cleaners for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications.

Featuring some of the largest adsorbent surface areas for gaseous pollutants and the most available options and customizations, the air cleaners can remove harmful chemicals, fumes, gases, odors, particles, dust and pathogens with a complete activated carbon + HEPA filtration system.

Contact Electrocorp for more information or options.

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