Local Exhaust Ventilation explained…
Every year many employees contract occupational asthma and other lung diseases, as reported by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE). These health issues develop because of high volumes of dust, fumes and other airborne contaminants in the workplace.
A (LEV) local exhaust ventilation system, uses extract ventilation to prevent, or substantially reduce, the level of these airborne hazardous substances. It draws pollutants, dust and noxious fumes away from a process or operation that are harmful to the health of staff.
A LEV is normally made up of an extract inlet such as a hood, slot, booth or cabinet placed around or close to, the point of release of the potentially harmful substance. It is typically connected by ducting via an extract fan to exit the atmosphere or returned elsewhere in the workplace having first been cleaned to make it safe for release.
Why must LEV systems be tested and maintained?
Government targets dictate that the HSE guidelines are there to reduce the incidence of work related respiratory disease and to achieve this by promoting better understanding and enforcement of COSHH Regulations relating to airborne particulates.
They require that where, as a result of industrial and commercial operations, substances are produced which could be harmful to health by inhalation or contact, they must be either contained or safely disposed of by a Local Exhaust Ventilation system. The Regulations contain statutory requirements for the undertaking of formal examination and testing of LEV systems.
Now premises which use LEVs to control exposure are subject to inspection by HSE Inspectors to ensure the systems are properly designed and installed, and are subjected to thorough annual inspection by the premises’ owners or managers (more frequently for high hazard processes), to ensure they are operating to maximum efficiency.
They should be given a visual check at least once a week. Failure to ensure compliance will result in enforcement notices being issued.
What does LEV testing involve?
Our fully qualified BOHS P601 engineers will carry out a thorough inspection of all parts of the LEV installation and report on its performance and effectiveness in line with HGS 258: Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work.
A British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) approved report will be issued on completion of the inspection. Where necessary, and with your agreement, we will carry out remedial work to restore the system to 100% extract effectiveness.