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What is LEV and why does it need testing?

Local Exhaust Ventilation Testing or LEV Testing is a requirement for all employers who are using air extraction systems that remove dust, fumes, vapours and other potentially harmful contaminants from the working environment. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), often called dust or fume extraction, can help clean the air, before people breathe in these harmful substances. LEV is a machine that extracts air from a process as a way of controlling and reducing the exposure of workers to the elements.

Testing the LEV equipment is vital to make sure that the airflow is sufficient and that any filters and grilles are clear and working correctly.


Health & Safety and Regulations

Regulation 9 of COSHH requires that any control measure taken to comply with regulation 7 must be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. 

The continued widespread occurrence of occupational lung diseases in the UK has led to increasingly stringent guidelines and statutory requirements for Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV). LEV testing is now a legal requirement.

In May 2008, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published a new, comprehensive guide (HSG258) on LEV for designers, installers and examiners and detailed guidance for employers and their employees who depend on LEV to protect their health. Any employer that uses LEV techniques in the workplace must have equipment examined and tested at least “every 14 months” to ensure it is working effectively and safely. 

The COSHH (Control of Substances Hazard to Health) regulations require that all LEV systems are subject to a thorough examination. They require most LEV systems including all oil mist, welding fume, smoke and dust extraction units that you currently may have on site to be tested every 14 months. This examination must be undertaken by a competent person and the tests and reports must conform to HSE standards. The HSG258 guideline on Controlling Airborne Contaminants provides the recommended procedures to achieve these statutory requirements.


Thorough LEV Examination and Testing

The COSHH regulations require that all LEV systems undergo commissioning (initial inspection) at the time of installation to prove that the new system effectively controls the hazardous substance. The thorough examination and test checks the control effectiveness of your LEV systems. The test includes air flow and pressure measurements which are then compared to the commissioning report, issued when the equipment was installed. 

The testing involves a thorough examination of the equipment including any hoods, filters, ducts and cabinets. We measure the performance of the equipment and compare this to the design specifications when the system was first installed. If the equipment is not up to standard, we can advise on what will be required to meet these.

Comfort Services can carry out detailed LEV/COSHH Testing and Commissioning on all types of LEV systems. We can provide cost-effective, competent dust extraction testing and fume extraction testing. All of our tests full comply with the COSHH Approved Code of Practise (ACoP) and HSE guidance HSG258. Please contact us today for more information and for your free, no obligation quote and a free copy of the HSG258 guidance.