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Ann Occup Hyg. 2014 Mar;58(2):227-40. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/met061. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Analysis of factors affecting containment with extracted partial enclosures using computational fluid dynamics.

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Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9JN, UK.


The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) COSHH Essentials (HSE, 2002, COSHH Essentials: easy steps to control chemicals HSG193. 2nd edn. ISBN 0 71762737 3. Available at Accessed 30 October 2013) provides guidance on identifying the approaches required to control exposure to chemicals in the workplace. The control strategies proposed in COSHH Essentials are grouped into four control approaches: general ventilation, engineering control, containment, or to seek specialist advice. We report the use of experimental measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling to examine the performance of an engineering control approach and a containment control approach. The engineering control approach simulated was an extracted partial enclosure, based on the COSHH Essentials G200, for which simulations were compared with data from experiments. The containment approach simulated was of drum filling (in an extracted partial enclosure), based on the COSHH Essentials G305. The influence of the following factors on containment was examined: face velocity, size and location of face opening, and movement and ventilation flows. CFD predictions of the engineering control approach agreed well with the majority of the experimental measurements demonstrating confidence in the modelling approach used. The results show that the velocity distribution at the face of the enclosure is not uniform and the location and size of the opening are significant factors affecting the flow field and hence the containment performance. The simulations of drum filling show the effect on containment of the movement of a drum through the face of an enclosure. Analysis of containment performance, using a tracer, showed that containment was affected by the interaction between the ventilation flow direction and drum movement and spacing. Validated CFD simulations are shown to be a useful tool for gaining insight into the flows in control strategies for exposure control and to aid the interpretation of experimental measurements. The results support the assumption in COSHH Essentials that the use of 'containment' as a control approach is capable of achieving a 100-fold reduction in potential exposure. Novel CFD modelling techniques have been used to create controlled containment scenarios, improve understanding of the flow behaviour in the scenarios, and provide information that may aid future containment design.


COSHH essentials; LEV; computational fluid dynamics; containment; drum filling; engineering controls; extracted partial enclosures

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