Venting Welding Fumes

Has anybody looked into our current approach to venting fumes from welding out the window? Blowing it straight out the window just comes across as extremely irresponsible on our part given the fact that we know what is likely contained in those fumes. There is a reason we wanted out and don’t want to breathe it but what about the other people around us or Josh upstairs that leaves his dogs out that run around outside… I honestly thank is a group we are a hell of a lot more creative then just blowing it right out the window which is how it is currently set up. We have some of the best Minds Cincinnati has to offer, so I think we should be able to come up with something that is a bit more responsible and something to be proud of. Especially if we’re going in lieu of not obtaining any permissions ahead of time from the land lord or the fire marshal that’s in charge of our walkthrough.

In particular metal fume fever seems like something we should avoid inflicting on our fellow tenants.

I can tell you a really creative place we can blow co2 and argon if you would like. Seeing most people research the metal their welding first to see if there is any hazards however to be extra safe I’ll remind people not to fart while in there… there is not supposed to be any painting in there as established quite a bit ago but by all means if you think we should add charcoal let’s do it.

Also if you look at the metals on that wiki, I would love for you to point out where anything galvanized, chrome plated, or who is even brazing at the hive with brass lol

So we haven’t checked to make sure it’s not toxic, or causing other problems, such as the fumes reacting with the cars parked on the street. This seems like a huge oversight. I guess the loose gas cylinder wasn’t the only risk to life and limb.

Given that we have a number of potential newbie welders (still looking for that promised class on welding) that don’t know what they’re doing, I think it’s a bit optimistic to just assume that the stuff going out the window without any check is fine.

Personally I’d assume exactly the opposite, that it’s likely that somebody is going to drag in an unknown metal and do something that’s going to get nasty stuff all over the place.

As for brazing, Will was doing a bit of it this weekend, so I’m not sure why you think it’s rare.

Have you checked to see if we can just vent that stuff out? Is it okay with the EPA? I’d hate to see us get a huge fine because we didn’t check. What sorts of fire risks are we running by concentrating whatever through that? Since people do spray painting in that room it seems like a risk as well. Is the vent fan rated for the sorts of solvents and other corrosives that are going to be run through it?

I’d like to see some checks put in place to make it a bit safer. Seems really irresponsible to just assume it’s all okay.

This was addressed a few years ago.

based on the square footage of the room, we did do the research. Technically a vent isn’t even needed per OSHA standards, since the room is large enough for the welding gases to disperse as needed. The vent was added as a secondary precaution.

If you are concerned about the material you are welding, it is highly recommended to use a mask. As per the exhaust containing carcinogens or other problems, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did - but so does car exhaust and all sorts of other exhausted gases.

And the fan?

it was replaced then i believe (the old one was quite inefficient)

Sorry, is the fan rated for VOCs, such as found in spray paint and other corrosives? Did we check to see if it was okay to vent the toxic fumes where the neighbors can smell them? Did we check to make sure that the plastic tube we’re using isn’t going to react with the fumes?

Well what can I say I’ve had pneumonia it wouldn’t be to smart sharing welding masks isnide an enclosed area. I know you have not been a member all that long but even before I became the warden (I know I forgot to add it to my name for the mailing list) I have helped people with learning to weld and repairs. I am likely going to try and throw together a quick intro class because I have to have another surgery to remove a piece of bone from on of the times I broke my right arm that has to be excised from the muscle. If you want to turn the mailing list into a an unprofessional mess have at it. I’m not going to criticize anything or make a mockery of things.

I was not the only person to bring up concern about blowing dust out of the upstairs window however if you want to audit the welding room fumes in percentages as well please feel free to I’m open to actual input. As far as the tank goes it used to be tied up however some extra items have been moved in and out of the room and the tank got moved as well lol.

A. Spray painting is not supposed to take place in there so since your brining that up???

B. The mild steel we have been welding with the inert gas of choice and even flux core wire is more than adequate and non corrosive.

C. We have had zero complaints from Josh upstairs, garden street, nor anyone.

D. The most fumes the room has seen is when people are using wood stains, lacquers, urethanes, and other clear coats. People like to use the welding table as it is a nice FLAT surface out of the way and they can close the door to keep others from sanding, moving things around, dust, etc. Do I need to check all of the wood working chemicals as well for compliance.

E. As far as being corosive on the cars outside ummmmm I’ll just go with it doesn’t contain formaldehyde and we have had zero complaints on that as well. Although it could have been the reason for needing the sidewalks replaced I will have to check.

F. Once we go with a tig then brazing can become an option however I must tell people just to be even more safe is that when prepping a metal for work that you are unfamiliar with its best to research! Your buy can absorb fine particles through your lungs just as other metals.

chill out… Please.

That was sent before other communication it’s all good

Dang, not to be snarky but bear with me. OSHA… Look, there is a big difference between “allowable” “permissible” and good for you. Keep in mind those limits were set on what was economically feasible and in the employers best interest in the 70’s… you know the era of bad color choices, shag carpets, cheap gas, muscle cars, macho, and cigarettes were still good for you. Heck, the filters may still have been asbestos. And these don’t change without legislation, and note all the ancillary agencies new targets are most always lower than the 70’s regulations… except steel toed boots. Yup, Steel toes not shown to protect you from dropping several tons on your feet, and discontinued in some states.

Any space not meeting the minimums in ventilation for the lab standard is probably not somewhere you want to do any work with any fumes… whether or not there is enough space for the molten droplets to precipitate. Cumulative exposure issues and delayed response to dose are real bears, as is the whole microscopic particle bit. And in small lots, it is the lab standard that applies, not general industry. Lab standard relies on ventilation of process and air exchanges in room rather than prove outs of exposures for multiple processes, imo of course. Don’t forget the catch all general duty clause… which means if you know it is dangerous, then fix it. 29 CFR 1903.1 Which means if the welding fumes and smoke escape the welding room to the general area… and so on. Pretty good test is fiberglass work. Somebody doing fiberglass work in the booth, and you feel loopy, then the vent ain’t workin. My guess, somebody brings out the resin, there are gonna be complaints.

And speaking of OSHA technicalities… it does not cover the hive… as the members are not employees. Until the Hive pays somebody to be there, OSHA is a moot point besides being the bare minimum you must do to avoid a fine or jail as an employer.

And specifically which section and sub section was reviewed last time?

Not to unreasonably doubt ya, but “Osha says” is a pretty broad brush, and subject to a lot of interpretation… which may vary. In fact, even the experts have to cut and paste and decompress the jargon to readable sentences to figure out “all instances except V VII IV and part 4 iii, where 120.1 and 140 apply except instances x, y, z the following shall be performed unless p, d, q and sometimes y if y has conditions X. L, or V” I am having a hard time believing that the size of the room in industry is not assuming much more in air exchanges/hr than currently available. It looks to me that the confined space regulations may be confused with other regulations, because nothing I am reading seems to me to fit the solution offered.

Construction industry:
and finally, one that lists the air exchange rates in mostly english

Just please, from personal experience do not make the mistake of thinking that OSHA = perfectly safe or OSHA = easily understandable.

According to OSHA regulations, when welding and cutting mild steels, natural ventilation is usually considered sufficient to advoid exposure provided that:

  1. The room or welding area contains at least 10,000 cubic feet (about 22’ x 22’ x 22’) for each welder.
  2. The ceiling height is not less than 16 feet.
  3. Cross ventilation is not blocked by partitions, equipment, or other structural barriers.Note: When welding must be performed in a space entirely screened on all sides, the screens shall be so arranged that no serious restriction of ventilation exists. Screens should be mounted so that they are about 2 feet above the floor (unless work is performed at a low level and the screen must extend to the floor to protect nearby workers from welding glare.
  4. Welding is not done in a confined space.

Spaces that do not meet these requirements should be equipped with mechanical ventilating equipment that exhausts at least 2,000 cfm of air for each welder, except where local exhaust hoods or booths, or air-line respirators are used.

the recommended number of air changes in one hour for a welding room is 15-20, which is where the earlier minimum requirement I posted is from. so - 16x16x22 cu.ft x 15 air changes/hr divided by 60 gives you 1408cfm. seeing as the welding room is less then 10,000 cubic feet, if we want to be up to OSHA standards, the bare minimum would be at least 2000cfm per regulation 1910.252(c)(2)(ii).

that was from when we replaced the fan however many years ago…

I think we are back on the same page now tiff. Thank you for that though it is good to know. Given our fan type in the room I’m going to bring down perforated drainage pipe to create multiple low pressure (vacuum) holes to vent the room as well as a T with a hood by the table :slight_smile: .

I’ve been told by multiple people that the dirty room is our current defacto spray booth.

If we don’t build a paint booth we should check that the fan is explosion proof and isn’t going to have problem with spray paints, or make it explicit that it’s not to be used for that purpose. (A sign on the door should work) The arcing when the fan motor turns on the brushes on a normal fan can potentially set off a fire/explosion and it’s possible to clog the fan with over spray.

I don’t think it’s a problem with a quick spray here and there, but if somebody wants to do some serious painting, involving a can or two of spray paint we could have an issue.

All of which ignores the problems with that over spray landing on the lathe and potentially causing problems with it’s various gears, etc.

If I catch someone spray painting in the dirty room, I would at a minimum give them an earful. I’d probably start welding if they didn’t stop. Spraypaint does not belong in the same room as the lathe, period.

I agree in principle but that room has been the informal paint room for a while.
As long as the lathe is covered I am OK.
I’m more concerned with the welding/painting interaction. Having overspray in a welding space is probably not great.
We should have a discussion about how to spray paint stuff at the Hive.


Then it sounds like there’s a disconnect somewhere. Like I said, I think a sign or two would put an end to it.