The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires all businesses who have a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system to ensure it undergoes regular LEV testing, to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).
But LEV testing is not simply to comply with the law, but good practice to ensure that the working environment is safe and to reduce the risk of long-term health problems.
Here’s all the essential information you need to know as a business owner or facilities manager:
What Is An LEV System?
An LEV system is an important safety device to reduce employees’ exposure to airborne contaminants in the workplace, including dust, fumes, gas and vapour. While LEV systems vary in design, size and capacity, most systems incorporate the same core elements: fans, ducting, filters, an inlet and an outlet.
What Is LEV Testing?
It goes without saying that for an LEV system to work effectively, removing contaminants from the air and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of employees, it needs to be in prime condition. However, blockages, leaks and unseen damage can affect its efficiency over time, so regular maintenance and testing is necessary.
LEV testing ensures that airflows are maintained at the correct level, as this is a broad indicator that the system is operating effectively, and that there is no wear or damage to essential components.
What Is Examination And Testing Of LEV Systems, And Monitoring Exposure?
No dust collection system can operate effectively without regular maintenance, so at Dust Spares, our LEV testing and maintenance offers some crucial services to help keep your system in full working order:
- Inspections to assess the physical condition of the system, which is detailed in a written report, with recommendations for actions if required.
- Testing, in line with HSE requirements, to carry out a full examination and test of the LEV system, with a written report summarising results.
- Monitoring of hazardous substances to comply with COSHH regulations.
- Ongoing maintenance by skilled engineers with outstanding experience of the air pollution control field, to ensure your system is fully-functioning and any parts are replaced when required, to prevent more serious problems from developing.
How Often Should You Have An LEV Test?
According to HSE regulations, LEV tests should be carried out at least every 14 months*. If the system has been modified since it was last tested, the previous test would no longer be valid and would need to be repeated.
Interim services are important to prevent serious problems from emerging later, so at Dust Spares, we recommend that one of our qualified technicians carries out a maintenance service once every six months, to maximise the capacity and operation of your system.
Who Is Qualified to complete An LEV Test?
According to the HSE, only ‘competent’ people should attempt to carry out an LEV test. Hiring an unqualified or substandard engineer to test your system could cause problems in the future if your ventilation is found to be ineffective, so check the technician’s credentials, experience, and knowledge of COSHH regulations.
Ideally, an individual who is P601 accredited should be selected for the job as this means they possess the knowledge and skills to offer a full COSHH assessment of all types of LEV systems. At Dust Spares, our engineers possess the P601 accreditation and are, therefore, suitably trained to carry out your LEV testing and maintenance.
What Are My Responsibilities As A Business Owner?
As a business owner, you must ensure that your LEV system complies with all legal requirements. As a manager, you have ownership of health and safety regulations in the workplace and a legal duty to mitigate the risks to everyone on your premises, including staff and visitors.
In terms of LEV system management, your responsibilities include:
- Ensuring workers are trained in the correct use of LEV equipment, including how to identify potential problems in its operation so that early warning signs can be noted.
- Arranging professional testing of the LEV system by a qualified engineer, and ensuring remedial action is taken to address any shortcomings.
- Maintaining written reports following LEV tests for a minimum of five years.
Contact Dust Spares For LEV Testing
With over 1,000 people dying each year in the UK from illnesses caused by the inhalation of dust in the workplace, LEV testing is essential to reduce the number of workers suffering from life-changing or life-limiting illnesses. Our qualified engineers can ensure that your business meets its legal obligations by eliminating dust from the workplace, to protect employees and visitors, and to increase productivity in manual tasks. For more information about our LEV testing, or to book an appointment, please give us a call.
*Legal maximum interval varies for certain processes. See Table 18 HSG258 for more information:
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