Under the COSHH Regulations, companies must take steps to prevent, control, maintain and monitor hazardous substance exposure in the workplace. Regular Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) tests and checks are a legal obligation for workplaces who use LEV systems as part of their control measures.
LEV systems are one way of achieving adequate control to workplace contaminants / emissions. They are designed to remove the contaminant away from an operative's breathing zone.
LEV can take several forms, these include:
- On-tool extraction
- Fixed capture hoods
- Flexible hoods
- Fume cabinets
- Spray booths
- Glove box
The HSE advises that most LEV systems should be thoroughly examined and tested every 14 months to ensure they operate as they should. Some LEV systems, such as those controlling more critical or high-hazard processes, need more frequent thorough examination and testing. Employers must also keep a full record of the examination for at least five years.
In addition to the thorough examination and test, LEV systems should also be checked every time they are used, as well as scheduled weekly and monthly checks. This is to ensure that the system is operating as intended. Operators also need to be thoroughly trained in the correct use of the LEV system.