LEV testing is often essential. Working in an environment with machinery, it’s not uncommon to work with pieces of equipment that produce a heavy number of contaminants (i.e dust, vapour, gases and wood shavings.) These pollutants over time can pose serious risks to your health including asthma, lung scarring and even cancer.
The best way to ensure a working environment is free from dangerous contaminants is with a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system – these units come in various shapes and sizes such as fume cupboards, welding bays, grease/kitchen extraction systems and are extremely effective in extracting airborne contaminants in enclosed environments.
LEV systems are manufactured to suit the needs of the machine and its operator, with a specifically designed ‘hood’ to draw any harmful particles away before inhalation. To ensure the system is performing to its intended design specification, COSHH Regulation 9 stipulates that LEV systems need to be examined, tested and maintained by a competent person at regular intervals.
A thorough examination, including LEV testing, is needed at least every 14 months in accordance with chapter 10 of HSG258 (controlling airborne contaminants at work).
Thousands of people sadly die from dangerous dust inhalation every year in the UK, and it is crucial that companies take the necessary steps to ensure that they have the correct LEV system installed for their equipment and that these systems are maintained correctly to ensure they are fit for purpose. LEV testing could easily save countless lives.
Our LEV specialist has the necessary P601 (initial appraisal, thorough examination and testing of LEV systems) accreditation and is fully qualified to offer COSHH LEV testing and thorough examinations in the workplace.
A Complete Guide to LEV Testing on Kitchen Extract Systems
What is LEV Testing?
Local Exhaust Ventilation testing, or LEV testing, is a process which ensures that the ventilation systems in your kitchen are working adequately and do not pose a health and safety risk to your employees – or any other visitors, for that matter. LEV Systems which are poorly installed or maintained can often run into problems, requiring regular testing to ensure that they are operating correctly and safeguarding the environment as they should.
With regard to kitchens, employees are often subjected to intense heat and cooking fumes – a well serviced and efficient extract system is essential to safeguarding them against the threat of danger – the law requires kitchens to be well ventilated. A large part of this is ensuring that the LEV System is working as efficiently as possible.
What are the rules about LEV Testing?
The HSE’s Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations require you to have your LEV Systems tested for efficiency every 14 months, to ensure they are operating at an adequate level. The kitchen extract system also requires access doors in the ductwork, so that a thorough inspection and cleaning can be provided – if this is impossible, it could be in breach of the Health & Safety (Offences) Act 2009.
What can I do to ensure my business remains compliant with legislation?
You can use an airflow indicator to check that the extract system in your kitchen is operating correctly – regulations suggest five to 10 air changes per hour. However, a complete examination must be carried out by a ‘competent’ person, requiring a mix of education and experience. For this, you will need to employ the services of an experienced professional well accustomed to LEV Systems – simply checking it yourself will not allow you to pass Health and Safety legislation. Your other requirements concerning the LEV system are simply to regularly check for signs of damage and to act on any problems with the system.
You will also need to provide some information to the examiner of your system, such as the initial report upon installation of the LEV System that it was working efficiently, and what the system is supposed to do. If you are unsure of exactly what information you require, we can advise and help you. We will be able to source additional information if there is a problem and tell you if we have enough information to carry out a thorough enough test to pass Health and Safety requirements.
How can Ductbusters help me?
As well as being fully competent in carrying out LEV Testing on Kitchen Extract Systems, Ductbusters can provide a thorough cleaning of your system and general maintenance. Our surveyors can offer a free site survey to give you an accurate quote on any work needing done, and we have special systems to help give you a rapid quote, should you urgently require an idea of cost.
As experienced professionals, we also understand the needs of your business and how disruptive work of this nature can be. We will work with you to help provide a plan to carry out any necessary work to ensure a minimum of interference with your business. We can also help you carry out a full risk assessment and inform you of any documents and certificates you will need to retain to pass Health and Safety guidelines.
You can contact us on our website or freephone number to arrange for a free quote from one of our qualified surveyors.