Legal Requirements Surrounding LEV Examination and Testing

Every year thousands of people develop diseases from breathing in dust, fumes and other airborne contaminants in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that 12,000 deaths each year are caused by exposure to chemicals and dust.

LEV regulations are covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). This requires through Regulation 7 that:

LEV Regulations
“Every employer shall ensure that the exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable adequately controlled…..”

Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), often referred to as dust and fume extraction, is designed to ensure this adequate control and 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.

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

LEV Regulations require that hoods are labelled after 14 month examination and test
“Where engineering controls are provided to meet the requirements of regulation 7, the employer shall ensure that thorough examination and testing of those controls is carried out. In the case of local exhaust ventilation plant, 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 and that Local Exhaust Ventilation Examination and Testing is carried out  at least once every 14 months (or more frequently for certain industries).

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, leaving 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 keep 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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