Every year in the UK, workers contract asthma, lung disease and related illnesses from breathing in too much dust or harmful airborne contaminants. This can include such things as mist caused by paint spraying, welding fumes and even flour dust in bakeries.

It is critical in such working environments that there is a properly designed LEV system in place that is well maintained and serviced regularly in order to ensure harmful contaminants are removed from the air before they can reach workers and cause problems for their health.

What is a Local Exhaust Ventilation System?

A local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system is used to capture or trap vapours, fumes, dust and other airborne contaminants at their source, in order to prevent or greatly reduce the number of pollutants in the air that could be harmful to workers health.

An LEV system typically consists of an extract inlet such as a hood which is located close to or near the source of potentially contaminated air. Ductwork then safely carries the air to an air cleaning or filter system and fans that move the air through the system and push the contaminated air through to the outside.

An effective LEV system works by;

  • Capturing the air which contains the impurities, contaminants or pollutants.
  • Ensuring contaminants remain contained whilst generating sufficient air flow.
  • Safely filtering and removing the contaminants from the air.

Is LEV Cleaning A Legal Requirement?

Health and safety law states that employers must assess the risks to their workers from hazardous substances such as fumes, dust and vapours and take the necessary measures to protect them and their health. It also states that it is the legal responsibility of employers to ensure that their workers exposure to harmful contaminants is minimised and well controlled.

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    The HSE’s Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations requires that, where certain chemicals and other substances are used in industrial and commercial processes, they should either be contained or safely dispersed (Local Exhaust Ventilation).

    A further requirement of these regulations is that LEV systems should be regularly tested to ensure they are operating efficiently (within every 14 calendar months). Alongside this legislation, insurance companies also require that all LEV’s be compliant with COSHH Regulations in order to meet their set conditions and failure to do so could result in the insurance becoming void and claims denied.

    Our Local Exhaust Ventilation Services

    At Swiftclean we provide top quality, great value, comprehensive LEV services across the UK, helping our customers to keep their businesses and their employees safe.

    Local Exhaust Ventilation Testing

    LEV testing can help to create safer working environments by ensuring that ventilation systems have been correctly installed and are functioning properly.

    Poorly maintained ventilation systems can cause a risk to health and are likely to incur more faults which is why regular testing is so important. In doing so, not only do you protect yourself and employees, but you also ensure that you conform to the required legislation and that your insurance remains valid.

    Swiftclean’s specialist surveyors are trained to P601 and on completion of every contract, we issue a certificate and report of inspection which you can keep as a record of legal compliance.

    Cleaning Local Exhaust Ventilation

    As with most types of ductwork, ventilation and filtration systems, LEV’s require regular cleaning in order for them to work efficiently and continue to provide a clean and healthier environment. Depending on the type of LEV system they will also likely contain filters that will require cleaning, changing and maintenance.

    If the existing system has insufficient access points to allow effective cleaning then we are also fully equipped to install access doors throughout the ductwork that provide access for thorough inspections, cleaning and disinfecting.

    LEV Servicing and Maintenance

    Leaving your LEV equipment unchecked is not something that can be put to the bottom of a priority list and forgotten about. Failure to adequately service and maintain LEV equipment could leave employees unnecessarily exposed to hazardous substances that can be harmful to their health.

    Our engineers are on hand to help service and maintain all types of fume, mist and dust LEV systems, regardless of manufacturer and offer competitively priced service packages that are tailored to your needs.

    Once a service is complete it is followed up with a comprehensive report that clearly and concisely indicates any work that was carried out. This is important proof that the system is being properly maintained.

    How Can Swiftclean Help?

    At Swiftclean we have experience working with individuals, groups and independent businesses across a wide range of sectors and projects including;

    • Hospitals and laboratories
    • Education – schools, colleges and universities
    • Office buildings
    • Warehouses and factories
    • Facilities management companies
    • Saw mills and joinery workshops
    • Bakery and food manufacturers
    • Paint spray and powder coating
    • Welding, plating, sheet metal facilities
    • Grinding, finishing and polishing
    • Garages

    If you aren’t sure if your ductwork is compliant with the Approved Code of Practice from the Health and Safety Commission then try our Swiftclean Duct compliance checker and the Swiftclean AHU compliance checker.

    To speak to someone about our local exhaust ventilation services please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our friendly, knowledgeable advisors will be happy to help.

    More resources and best practice

    Are you complying?

    According to the HSE, only 40% of installed LEVs are tested annually as required by COSHH Regulation 9 and worryingly there appear to be a large number of schools which have poorly functioning LEVs. According to the HSE, an LEV system that is poorly installed, ineffective or loses its effectiveness through lack of maintenance – leads directly to industrial disease.

    Suppliers often fail to provide adequate guidance to their customers. An easy way of showing if the LEV is working properly is to check airflow indicators which ideally should be installed at each extraction hood.

    If there are problems with an LEV, there are a number of ways to restore its effectiveness. For example, by replacing components such as the filter, clearing any blockage or simply closing some extraction points if too many are open. This should be carried out as soon as possible after the fault has been recognised.

    Click here to find out if you’re legally compliant using our LEV compliance checker.

    Swiftclean commitment:

    • FREE quotation/technical advice – Nationwide – call 0800 243 471
    • Complete satisfaction or your money back guaranteed
    • Rapid response to your needs
    • Work carried out to relevant BESA, BSRIA, health & safety guidelines & regulations
    • Inspection & testing to ensure compliance with current COSHH regulations
    • Kitchen grease extract systems inspected in compliance with buildings insurance requirements and Fire Safety regulations
    • Method Statements and Risk Assessments provided site specific as required
    • All works fully certified and post inspection reports provided

    Call for a FREE quote

    Please call us or email info@swiftclean.co.uk for further advice and a free quote.

    CALL 0800 243 471