The Importance of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Systems and Thorough Examination and Testing (TExT)

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What is the importance of maintaining an LEV system?

A Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system is in place to maintain control of hazardous substances at a level whereby exposure levels are within the Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs), ensuring the workforce are protected.  Failing to maintain your LEV systems in good working order means you may be exposing people to excess levels of hazardous substances and therefore you will be breaking the law.

All LEV systems must be maintained to the highest standard at all times. Employees should undertake daily checks on the integrity of the system and its performance, emptying collection bins where necessary.  The findings of such daily checks should be recorded in individual log books that are associated with each system.  High readings from the pressure gauge across the filter (where fitted, although HSG258 states that all filters should have them fitted) should be reported to the maintenance team, who should check the condition of the filter and clean/change it where appropriate.  Any other damage/faults with the LEV systems must be repaired immediately.

The management team must also ensure that all LEV is being used in the appropriate manner by employees. This is to ensure that their exposure to hazardous substances is being controlled to a reasonable level, and the employee must be instructed that they too have a duty to ensure its correct use.

 

How often does an LEV system need to be tested?

The Thorough Examination and Testing (TExT) of LEV systems is mandatory and must be undertaken at least every 14 months.

For some processes, Schedule 4 of the COSHH Regulations 2002 gives more regular frequencies at which systems should be tested;

·         Processes in which blasting is carried out in 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 months
·         Processes giving off dust or fume in which non-ferrous metal castings are produced. ·         6 months
·         Jute cloth manufacture. ·         1 month

It is important to ensure that whoever undertakes the TExT is competent (usually qualified through BOHS, CIBSE or ILEVE).

The final report should be treated as a test certificate, and any LEV system that has FAILED should be restored to good working order as soon as is possible, and a retest carried out.  All records for LEV systems should be kept for a minimum of five years.

If you would like to find out more information on the Thorough Examination and Testing of LEV systems, please contact Jodie Abramski or Chris Mills on 0114 272 2270 or email jodie.abramski@em.solutions.co.uk or chris.mills@em-solutions.co.uk.

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