Local Exhaust Ventilation

In many work activities, substances that are hazardous to health are handled, produced, or processed in ways that results in dust, fumes or gases being given off to the workplace atmosphere. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Systems have an important place in the hierarchy of control measures, if properly applied.

The aim of thorough Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) testing, inspection and examination is to provide an independent assessment ensuring hazard control and engineering performance.

Many people today are exposed to a variety of substances at work for example chemicals, fumes, dusts, fibres which can under certain circumstances, have a harmful effect on their health. These ‘hazardous substances’ can cause harm by too much being taken into the body through breathing, by being absorbed through the skin or swallowed, or by acting directly on the body at the point of contract.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have established occupational exposure limits for a large number of hazardous substances at work and publishes them in EH40 updated every year.

Many work activities involve hazardous substances being handled, produced or processed in ways that result in dust, fumes or gases being given off to the workplace atmosphere. Current legislation requires that exposure to hazardous substances is either prevented or adequately controlled. Local exhaust ventilation is a key part of providing effective means of controlling exposure.

Current regulations including The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) require systems to be maintained in an efficient state, in an efficient working order and in good repair. All plant deteriorates with time therefore regular monitoring and testing forms an important part of the proactive maintenance.

Fume cupboard ventilation testing

Under the COSHH regulations there is a statutory requirement to undertake formal examinations and testing of LEV systems at least once every 14 months, although under certain conditions these tests must be performed more regularly.

HSG 258 “Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation” suggests that these checks should be undertake by competent people who are not normally responsible for the system maintenance to get an independent opinion.

Test Protocol

The testing protocol that HBE uses is designed to ensure that the systems are operating effectively and efficiently and comply with the current legislation on LEV systems.

The assessments are all undertaken in accordance with the procedures detailed in HSG 258 “Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation”

The performance of each system is verified using a combination of visual and physical checks of each system including all associated ductwork, filtration equipment and pressure gauges. A variety of test equipment is used where appropriate, including pitot tubes, micro-manometers, hot ball anemometers and other test equipment, to monitor;

  • Face velocity
  • Static pressure at selected locations throughout the system
  • Duct dimensions
  • Installation of test points in duct
  • Capture distance

For further information about our Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) services contact us on 0845 6399 673 or email enquiries@hberm.com.

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