COSHH Regulation 9

Every year thousands of people develop diseases from breathing in dust, fumes and other airborne contaminants in the workplace. For this reason, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that 12,000 deaths each year are due to exposure to chemicals and dust. COSHH Regulation 9 covers LEV systems. COSHH Regulation 7 requires that:

COSHH Regualtion 9
“Every employer shall prevent or, where this is not reasonably practicable adequately control the exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health”

As a result, Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), often referred to as dust and fume extraction, is used to ensure this adequate control. In particular, they cause the movement of suspended particles or harmful gases in the air away from the employee’s breathing zone and remove them from the working environment.

LEV Regulations – COSHH Regulation 9

Over time an LEV system’s performance can diminish due to blockages, wear, damage and leaks. Therefore, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) requires, through COSHH Regulation 9 that:

COSHH Regulation 9 require that hoods are labelled after examination
In summary, “Where Regulation is met through the use of engineering controls, the employer shall ensure that thorough examination and testing of those controls is carried out. In the case of local exhaust ventilation plant, this will be at least once every 14 months…..

It is therefore a legal requirement, through COSHH Regulation 9, that any employer that uses an LEV system to control dust, fumes and vapour must ensure it is operating effectively. In particular, for LEV systems, that Local Exhaust Ventilation Examination and Testing is carried out  at least once every 14 months.

The HSE states that around a 100,000 businesses in the UK use LEV Systems to control the respiratory risks of 2.6 million workers. Only 40,000 of these businesses have their LEV systems tested regularly. Consequently, this leaves 1.6 million workers potentially at risk and 60,000 businesses open to contravention of the COSHH regulations and in turn open to potential prosecution.

Synergy Environmental Solutions can provide LEV testing by P601 qualified engineers. Ensure your company complies with COSHH Regulation 9 and your staff are safe with our LEV testing service.

Links to further reading about the legal requirements surrounding local exhaust ventilation and COSHH
1. Free PDF download of the COSHH Regulations.
2. HSE frequently asked questions about LEVs .
3. Clearing The Air – A simple guide to buying and using LEVs.
4. Controlling airborne contaminants at work – A guide to local LEVs.

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