Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations COSHH Regulation 9 ECL

Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations

Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations including COSHH Regulation 9 in the UK as outlined in our previous Local Exhaust Ventilation Testing article aim to aid companies who operate LEV systems to comply via HSG258.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that over 12,000 deaths every year are from workplace exposure to chemicals and dusts associated with breathing in various fumes, dust and other hazards in the air whilst at work. For this reason, the Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations, also known as COSHH Regulation 9, exist.

What Is COSHH Regulation 9?

COSHH Regulation 9 is the Maintenance, Examination & Testing of Controls.

“Every employer shall prevent or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately control the exposure of their employees to substances hazardous to health”

Regulation 9 of the COSHH regulations require measures to be taken to provide effective control through the use of Local Exhaust Ventilation (dust and/or fume extraction equipment) and that this must be maintained in effective working order and in good repair.

The legislation states that every LEV system must be thoroughly examined & tested at least once in a period of 14 months (unless otherwise specified) by a competent person.

COSHH Regulation 9 also specifies that LEV test result records, including details of any local exhaust ventilation repairs carried out, must be kept for at least 5 years.

Compliance with COSHH Regulation 9 is a mandatory, legal requirement.

Why Do We Need Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations?

An LEV system’s performance will diminish over time due to continual wear and tear, leaks, blockages, and external or internal damage. The HSE, therefore, enforced Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations to ensure that the examination and testing of those controls are carried out. 
The HSE states that over 100,000 businesses in Britain use local exhaust ventilation to control airborne hazards. This equates to 2.6 million workers. The HSE also estimates that 1.6 million workers are still potentially at risk from businesses that do not use local exhaust ventilation to control the airborne hazards in the workplace.

Local exhaust ventilation testing is a legal requirement in the UK for compliance with the above health and safety standards. LEV test reports often form part of a company’s insurance policy. Inadequate testing can result in employers being prosecuted, insurance policies being invalidated and even employees becoming ill.

The consequences of exposure to harmful dust and fumes including respiratory diseases tend to be long latency and as a result, the consequences of exposure are not appreciated. When symptoms do appear they are often irreversible.

With the correct controls in place and a properly maintained LEV system, respiratory diseases like Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), silicosis and cancers are completely preventable.

 

How Do I Comply With Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations?

The COSHH regulations apply to every employer in the UK that either uses or produces hazardous substances in the
workplace. 

The most common, effective and affordable method of controlling these hazardous substances is to install a local exhaust ventilation system.

To comply with COSHH Regulation 9 as stated above, all of these LEV systems then require a thorough examination and test at least every 14 months. This can vary with exceptions being specified in Table 4 of HSG258 which require either monthly or 6 monthly examination & test.

Local exhaust ventilation regulations describe an LEV Test as:

“a detailed and systematic examination sufficient to ensure that the LEVcan continue to perform as intended by design and will contribute to the adequate control of exposure”

This testing calls for trusted expertise in the legal requirements involved within LEV systems, the knowledge of the standards and the proficiency to test if the LEV is effective in reducing exposure to airborne contaminants. This is where ECL can help.

 Your initial local exhaust ventilation requirements include:

  • Daily to monthly in-house checks to ensure the LEV system continues to run properly
  • Regular maintenance
  • Thorough testing of the LEV system (At least every 14 months)

Your LEV Regulations Experts

ECL will fulfil your obligation to ensure your LEV equipment is thoroughly examined and tested, your staff kept safe and you not having to worry about the risk of incurring any potential HSE fines.

If any equipment failings are uncovered during our LEV Tests, our P601 qualified LEV engineers will guide you through the process to ensure full HSE compliance.

ECL has over 30 years of experience in testing LEV systems throughout all industries. We are active members of ILEVE who continually seek to drive up standards within the LEV industry and service both large international blue-chip companies to small local start-ups.

Our personal yet professional approach is favoured by our long term returning clients.

Call us on 01443 841760 or fill out our Enquiry Form for any queries regarding LEV Tests, COSHH Regulation 9, workplace air monitoring, Workplace Noise Assessments or any of our many other Environmental and Occupational Hygiene services.