Legal Requirements

UK Health and safety law states employers must assess the risks to their workers from hazardous substances – dusts, fumes, vapors, etc. – and decide what measures to use to protect their health.

If the measures adopted include extraction systems (LEV) to remove the dusts, fumes, vapors etc. produced by their work processes or activities, then the LEV must be maintained in efficient working order so it continues to provide the necessary protection. Each LEV system should also have a periodic thorough examination and test (at least every 14 months) and this record should be kept for at least 5 years.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

COSHH adds specific requirements to Health and Safety law that impact on LEV use such as:

  • Employers must assess the degree of exposure and the risk to their employees, devise and implement adequate control measures and check and maintain them.
  • Employers must ensure that thorough examination and testing of their LEV is carried out at least every 14 months.
  • Different processes have a different minimum frequency of testing e.g. process giving off dust or fume in which non-ferrous metal castings are produced must be tested at least every 6 months.

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Full HSE publication:

Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work.