The Health and Safety Authority has issued a guidance written for employers, managers, employees and their safety representatives and those who provide, install and maintain local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems.

LEV is an engineering system designed to reduce employee exposure to airborne contaminants (dust, mist, fume, vapour, gas) in the workplace by capturing the emission at source and transporting it to a safe emission point or to a filter/scrubber. Employers need to work with designers, suppliers, installers and employees to effectively control exposure to airborne contaminants.

Suppliers must provide LEV that is fit for purpose, is shown to work and continues to work. The employer (the LEV owner) must ensure controls are adequate. Everyone, including suppliers and users of the LEV, must be competent in the use of the LEV system.

The system needs to be thoroughly examined regularly to demonstrate it is performing to design.

It is recommended that the system be checked at least every 14 months, or more frequently if the manufacturer recommends it.

As well as checking exhaust performance rates.  Checks and maintenance of the complete system are essential, especially moving parts that wear, e.g. fan motors/drives, gear wheels, fan belts, fan bearings, filter shakers; hoods, ductwork flanges and seals that can be corroded or damaged also need to be checked.  Along with any parts that may deteriorate with use, e.g. filters, flexible ducting, and items that need regular attention, e.g. dust collectors, cyclones, scrubbers.  System parts that are outdoors may in time become corroded and leak.

A record (log book) should be kept which indicates the initial design criteria and required monitoring checks, actual records and dates of performance monitoring, maintenance, parts replacement or any modification to the system.  Any LEV’s on site need to be tested annually.

Eirdata, part of the ESS Group of companies can carry out and manage all of these activities for you and ensure your compliance.  If you need help with this, we can do a site review to determine how many are on site and need to be tested.

For more information, Local_Exhaust_Ventilation_LEV_Guidance