Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) TestingPaul Wilson
What Are LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation) Systems?
Local Exhaust Ventilation systems are designed and engineered to protect employees from exposure to airborne contaminants or contaminated air by capturing and containing, dust, fumes and other hazardous substances that can be produced in the workplace. There are local exhaust ventilation regulations which employers have to follow in order to be compliant with health and safety law, and which stipulate that each system must undergo adequate and sufficiently frequent LEV testing to ensure correct working.
Every year hundreds and thousands of people are injured in the workplace, and an unfortunately significant percentage of those are as a result of breathing contaminated air from factory process or production, or other hazardous chemicals.
Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations
COSHH Regulation 9
The Control for Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH Regulation 9) explicitly states the importance of regular maintenance of LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation) systems. This includes the engineering controls and measures that employers have to put in place to ensure that adequate regular examination and testing is carried out. It further states that LEV systems must be assessed and tested at least once every 14 months, and that testing and maintenance records should be kept for a minimum of 5 years.
HSG258 Guidelines for Local Exhaust Ventilation
The HSE’s HSG258 Guidelines (A Guide To Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)), also states that all LEV systems must be maintained in efficient working order. It is therefore a legal requirement for employers to make sure that Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems are working properly.
Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Testing
What Is LEV Testing?
The main function of Local Exhaust Ventilation systems in any property or building is to protect workers from exposure and control airborne contaminants or contaminated air such as dust, fumes and other hazardous substances. It is vitally important to ensure that those systems operate correctly, and as such, regular testing, service, and maintenance must be conducted and documented to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, and more importantly, to protect staff.
What Is An LEV System’s Best Control Measure?
For day-to-day control and assurance that your LEV system is working the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recommends in HSG258 that LEV Airflow Indicators should be fitted to all Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems (LEVs).
Though there are other ways of manually assessing correct air flow, in practice the costs, records required, and sheer man-power are often prohibitive if you have more than one or two systems.