Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to fit airflow indicators to all the hoods in the LEV system?
One simple way of checking this is the use of airflow indicators at the hood and this will provide you reassurance that the flow-rate is maintained,that the protection for employees is there and that you’re not wasting money. There are other ways of checking airflow such as using anemometer, or a dust-lamp or smoke tracer (with the work process running). However, an airflow indicator is currently the only method that will show the operator or supervisor immediately if there’s a problem, and HSE’s LEV guidance HSG 258 recommends these are fitted.
How do I know that LEV hood airflow is adequate?
Do I have to fit airflow indicators now?
It is not a specific legal requirement, but you should have some way of checking that adequate airflow is being maintained. If you decide to get airflow indicators, you should identify which LEV systems or parts of systems need to be addressed first.
Factors to consider in your decision include:
- The risk of exposure
- Whether the operator has to set the hood airflow
- Whether other checks are practical
- The cost
- New LEV systems will soon be fitted with airflow indicators as standard.
I have been told that I may need my LEV thoroughly examined and tested, what does this mean?
If the measures you adopt include extraction systems (LEV) to remove the dusts, fumes, vapours etc. produced by your work processes or activities, then you must maintain the LEV in efficient working order so it continues to provide the necessary protection. You should also have a periodic thorough examination and test (at least every 14 months) and must keep this record for at least 5 years. In addition, you should have information on the installed LEV system to confirm it provides adequate protection, which should be kept for the life of the equipment.
What is the purpose of a thorough examination and test?
This information might be in the form of an initial appraisal or commissioning report, if one was carried out, or for simple ‘stand alone’ systems it could have been provided as standard operating data by the suppliers of extraction equipment. Alternatively, it might be found in recognised guidance (including that from HSE) on simple processes/systems. For examples CLICK on this link http://www.coshh-essentials.org.uk/. If none of this is available, you could consider getting someone competent to advise you.
What information does the examiner need?
The person doing the examination should let you know whether the information you provide is adequate for assessing whether the LEV is working as intended. Many examiners can help you identify intended performance information.