Ventilation Assessment and Control Solutions

Each year, thousands of workers in Britain contract occupational lung diseases, and other diseases including cancer, because they breathe in too much dust, fume or other airborne contaminants at work.

Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is an engineering control which can remove airborne contaminants before people breathe them in, and is – or should be – an important part of many exposure control strategies.

However, much LEV in industry today doesn’t work properly. This may be because it was not properly installed or maintained, or that it was just not the right system; there are many reasons why LEV controls are inadequate, or missing completely – from a lack of understanding of the risk of exposure, through difficulties in working out what’s causing exposure, to inappropriate design of systems. Under Regulation 9 of COSHH, employers must ensure that thorough examination and testing of all engineering controls is carried out at least every 14 months.

The reality is that much of the testing is ineffective, and 60% of the 100,000 UK businesses using LEV don’t have it tested at all, which is breaking the law. The HSE has an excellent LEV website which provides information on its LEV Guidance, and BOHS’s short introduction to LEV could help you to identify if your workplace is compliant.

If your employees are exposed to dusts (eg. wood dust or flour), fumes (such as welding or soldering fume), paint mist, or any other airborne contaminants, WES can ensure that your exposure control programme is compliant, effective and appropriate for your processes. If you don’t have LEV controls and think you ought to, WES can help here too. Our ventilation and control services include:

  1. Thorough examination and testing of existing LEV systems as required by the COSHH Regulations
  2. Air sampling and monitoring to identify sources of potential exposure to airborne substances and assess existing controls
  3. Identification of where LEV will provide an effective means of control
  4. Assistance in the design or modification of LEV
  5. Identification of other appropriate plant or process engineering control solutions
  6. Assistance in the design and modification of plant and process for improved control
  7. Development of on-going maintenance and compliance programmes, including staff training

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