LEV is an abbreviation of ‘local exhaust ventilation’ and is an engineering control used to reduce the risk of inhalation of substances hazardous to health in a workplace, such as dust, gas, mist, fume or vapour.
Typically, these substances may cause respiratory diseases such as occupational asthma, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
LEV systems perform an essential function to protect health. They must be properly designed, installed, commissioned, tested and maintained to be effective. It is essential that employers use competent LEV engineers.
Further information is available from the HSE:
- at their LEV website
- by viewing the HSE publication Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation
The HSE has 7 key messages for employers when purchasing LEV:
- Work out which jobs and activities cause exposure.
- Write down what the LEV needs to do – get a reputable supplier to advise you.
- Get the right type of LEV to control exposure.
- Involve your employees in LEV design or selection.
- Make sure the LEV is installed properly and works effectively.
- Make sure the LEV has airflow indicators (or equivalent).
- Make sure the supplier provides a User Manual and Log Book (or equivalents).
And 6 key messages when using LEV:
- Manage the checking and maintaining of the LEV system.
- Train employees to use the LEV properly (ask supplier for help).
- Follow instructions in the User Manual (or equivalent)
- Fill in the Log Book and get repairs done.
- Get the LEV thoroughly examined and tested ‘annually’.
- Use the thorough examination report as an ‘audit’. Improve if necessary.