As an employer, you should link the LEV Testing frequency to the type of engineering control in use. You should also judge it by the risk that its failure causes. In addition you should judge it by the likelihood that failure will occur. Sometimes you will need to increase the frequency with the age of the engineering control concerned. It may also be necessary to re-examine and review the frequency of LEV tests. For example, in the event of a significant change to the plant or process. Also, where control measures are essential to prevent sudden or severe effects on people. An example is for processes emitting toxic fumes. These inspections need to be very frequent. The LEV Logbook should also cover the tests and frequencies.
In the case of controls that you only use occasionally, you need to check them before each use. Condition monitoring, e.g. airflow sensors in the system ducts, may need to be continuous and linked to alarms. Systems may also need air sensors that detect hazardous substances and raise the alarm on the breach of a pre-set limit. All such arrangements should emerge from the risk assessment. Employers and employees should give the person carrying out the tests all the help needed for them to carry out the work correctly and fully. This will affect the LEV Testing frequency.
Employers should keep a record in respect of each thorough examination and test. For the LEV system itself, these records should contain the information listed below. For all other engineering controls, employers should keep similar details, but adapt it so that it is relevant to the type of control concerned.
Local Exhaust Ventilation
LEV Testing frequency should be enough to ensure that the system meets the performance you initially set to control the substances for Regulation 7. This control applies whether the LEV is static or can be moved. It includes microbiological safety cabinets, and High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. Systems in laboratories and on-tool extraction systems often have these fitted. By following the guidance set out in HSE’s Controlling airborne contaminants at work and www.hse.gov.uk/lev/, you can ensure that the examination and testing of your LEV systems meets regulation 9(2).
Legal Minimum frequency for Testing of LEV Systems
The minimum frequency of testing of most LEV systems is set in COSHH as 14 months. The bullet points below show the exceptions to this rule.
- Blasting Processes incidental to the cleaning of metal castings in connection with their manufacture. – 1 Month minimum frequency
- Jute cloth manufacture. – 1 Month
- Processes, other than wet processes, in which metal articles (other than gold, platinum or iridium) are ground, abraded or polished using mechanical power in any room for more than 12 hours a week. – 6 Months minimum LEV Testing frequency
- Processes giving off dust or fume in which non-ferrous metal castings are
produced. – 6 Months
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