Local exhaust ventilation systems (LEV) are an engineering control system used to extract air which contains harmful contaminants away from the worker to prevent potential harm.
Examples of LEV’s include paint spray booths, welding fume hoods and fume cupboards. The law states that these systems must be tested and checked by a competent person every 12-14 months. Testing includes a combination of physical checks, observations and also air flow and pressure measurements taken throughout the system.
Some systems require more frequent assessment (see regulations – HSG 258). Validate Consulting can meet the testing requirements of HSG 258 and can also provide assistance and advice on improving systems that are not ‘fit for purpose’.
As part of the thorough examination and test of the extraction systems, Validate Consulting will provide a report which adheres to specifications set out in HS(G) 258 ‘Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work – A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation’ (HSE, 2008). Validate will also provide evidence in the report of fulfilling the requirements of Regulation 9 of COSHH.
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How often am I required to test my LEV?
HSG 258 stipulates that systems must be checked every 12-14 months with some systems requiring more frequent testing depending on the processes:
- Jute cloth manufacture – 1 Month
- Processes in which blasting is carried out or incidental to the cleaning of metal castings, in connection with their manufacture – 1 Month
- Processes, other than wet processes, in which metal articles (other than of gold, platinum or iridium) are ground, abraded or polished using mechanical power, in any room for more than 12 hours in any week – 6 Monthly
- Processes giving off dust/fume in which nonferrous metal castings are produced – 6 Monthly
What is COSHH Regulation 9?
- Every employer who provides any LEV to meet regulation 7 shall ensure that, it is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, in good repair and in a clean condition. – COSHH Regulation 9.1.
- When engineered controls have been used the employer must also make sure that the controls are thoroughly inspected and tested with a record that is kept for a minimum of 5 years. The Regulation also states:
- Any LEV system must be thoroughly appraised and tested at least once every 14 months. This is reduced to 6 months in certain circumstances. – COSHH Regulation 9.2.