LEV Regulations: Testing and Inspection Measures for Statutory Health and Safety.
Not removing harmful airborne contaminants can result in serious health issues. Discover the latest local exhaust ventilation (LEV) regulations stipulated by HSE.
Numerous jobs across multiple industries in the UK require work processes that produce dust and fumes. As an employer, not monitoring harmful air particles can result in serious health issues for you and your staff, such as asthma, lung scarring, and even cancer.
So, to avoid harmful outcomes, organisations apply local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems to regulate workplace environments and keep their staff and the public safe. Read on to discover official LEV regulations to ensure your business remains compliant and continues to maintain the health and safety of its staff.
What Does LEV Stand For?
The abbreviation of LEV translates to “local exhaust ventilation”. “Local” refers to the harmful air particles directly affecting those who can breathe them in. “Exhaust” refers to the system removing the air particles from the environment and “ventilation” implies the air is now clean and safe to work in.
What Is LEV?
Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is a type of system used to help control and reduce harmful dust and fumes within the workplace, education, and public environments.
Some local exhaust ventilation examples include:
- Wood dust extraction units
- Exhaust fume extraction in car garages
- Shot blast units
- Paint line exhaust ventilation
- Fume cupboards
- Classroom LEV systems
- Spray booths
- Welding fume enclosures
With around 12,000 people dying each year from occupational lung diseases, it shows the importance of monitoring, controlling and reducing harmful air particles.
There are many different types of LEV systems for different varieties of fumes and dust. However, typical LEV systems will share the same features and components, such as:
- Hood(s) – To collect contaminants
- Fan – Delivers suction to the hood(s)
- Ducts – Carries the contaminants away
- Air cleaner – Filters and cleans the extracted air
- Discharge – Safely releases the extracted air into the atmosphere
You must install the correct LEV system for the specific type of work process. Specifications include the type of machinery and materials that create the fumes or dust.
What Is the Purpose of LEV?
Essentially, the purpose of LEV is to protect the health of yourself, your staff and any members of the public who may also breathe in harmful air. So, if your place of work produces dust, mist, fumes or vapour, there could be a risk to the health of you and your employees.
To ensure you fulfil this crucial purpose as an employer, you must test the environment to check if it’s safe enough not to install an LEV system. Here’s everything you need to know:
Current LEV Regulations
LEV tests are also known as COSHH or “Thorough Examination and Tests” (TExT). The acronym of COSHH translates to the “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health”.
As a set of regulations established in the UK in 2022, COSHH is a statuary instrument imposing requirements on employers to protect employees and the public from hazardous substances at work.
COSHH imposes these requirements through risk assessments, control of exposure, health surveillance and incident planning. As an employer, failing to comply with these regulations can result in a breach of law and criminal offence.
LEV Testing and Inspection
LEV testing falls under these COSHH requirements, so an assessment of your work premises is necessary. Some LEV systems require testing and inspections less frequently than others.
As an employer, you can check for hazards and risks by:
- Assessing your facilities and any work processes that can produce dust, mites, fumes, and vapours
- Check the safety measures of any substances that may occur
- Make a note of all the individual jobs that can produce harmful particles
- Check for any areas of concern within your accident book
Any processes producing harmful particles are safely reducible with an LEV system. We also recommend an LEV calculator to help accurately assess the precise extent of the safety required. LEV calculators use:
- Volume flow
- Air density
- Air velocity
Analysing these elements determines a risk assessment for your LEV system requirements. So before investing in an LEV system, ensure you purchase the correct type. Many companies make the mistake of installing an LEV system that doesn’t work correctly for their specific work processes and contaminants.
For guidance concerning the correct type of LEV system, we recommend you ask a qualified supplier to advise your decision. Testing your LEV system is suitable requires fulfilling the following points:
- You have the correct LEV system for the job
- The LEV system is installed correctly
- The LEV system receives regular assessments and maintenance
- The LEV system is tested thoroughly
- The LEV has an indicator to show it’s working properly
- The LEV system is operated correctly and checked after each use
A helpful feature to aid you in knowing the LEV system is working correctly is the visual feature of a system indicator. There are various airflow indicators or LEV monitors available for specific types of LEV systems.
Speak to an LEV Specialist to Arrange an Official Inspection
At Black Country Safety Inspections, we specialise in assisting commercial and industrial clients with statuary safety requirements such as LEV testing and inspections. We’ve founded our business by prioritising safety and understanding when it comes to health, there is simply no room for error. Our Engineers are trained to BOSH (British Occupational Hygiene Society) P601 Thorough Examination and Testing of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems and P604 Performance Evaluation, Commissioning and Management of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems
All equipment is inspected to industry-leading standards, and we ensure no stone is left unturned when it comes to the health of your workforce.
So, if you require further guidance with LEV systems or have a system in place in need of examination, we can happily conduct a statuary TExT to keep your business running smoothly.