Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Testing

LEV is an engineering control system to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants such as dust, mist, fume, vapour or gas in the workplace. Avoid hazardous substances entering the operators breathing zone.

Every year, thousands of people in Great Britain die of lung disease or get asthma because of airborne contaminants they have breathed in at work. If your work produces dust (eg flour dust in bakeries), mist (eg paint mist from spraying), fume (eg from welding), gas (eg carbon monoxide from furnaces) or vapour (eg solvents from painting), there may be a risk to the health of your employees.

Many employers buy local exhaust ventilation (LEV) to protect workers’ health but it doesn’t work. This may be because it’s the wrong type or because it’s not properly installed, used or maintained.

The employer of the people being protected by the LEV has legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 (as amended) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR).

Asthma is a very serious health problem that can ruin lives. Asthma can be caused in a workplace simply by breathing in certain dusts, gases, fumes and vapours that can damage your lungs.

A requirement of these regulations is that LEV systems should be regularly tested to ensure that they are operating efficiently (at least once in every 14 calendar months).

The HSE have stated that, only 40% of installed LEVs are tested annually as required by COSHH Regulation 9 and worryingly there appear to be a large number of schools which have poorly functioning LEV’s. According to the HSE, an LEV system that is poorly installed, ineffective or loses its effectiveness through lack of maintenance – leads directly to industrial disease.

What are my duties?

  • Thorough Examination and Test Report (TExT) minimum 14 monthly

  • Select suitably qualified and competent contractor (P601)

  • Train staff on correct use of LEV system

  • LEV logbooks are present and complete

  • Check equipment is mechanically and electrically sound

  • Annual audit (minimum)

  • Keep records (minimum 5yrs)

Types of LEV systems

Fume cupboards, dust extraction system, welding (Nederman arms),Hoover with HEPA Filter (type of LEV for on-tool extraction).

Hazards to control

Processes that generate: Dust, fumes, vapor, mist or gas.

Legal duties

HASWA 1974, COSHH 2002 Regulation 9, HSG 258

Our LEV services include:

  • Commissioning Reports

  • Thorough Examination and Testing (TExT)

  • Servicing & Maintenance

  • Remedial Works Carried Out

  • Design & Installation

  • System Logbooks