We’ve put together a guide that details whether or not you need to provide LEV testing for your kitchen extraction equipment. In the guide, we discuss the best local exhaust ventilation (LEV) methods for capturing fumes, smoke and heat from processes that take place in the kitchen and how you go about ensuring it’s HSE compliant.
What is LEV Testing?
LEV testing is essentially a management audit tool. Businesses should employ a reputable company, with a competent person (typically an LEV testing engineer) to certify whether kitchen extraction systems are controlling airborne contaminants. The purpose of the test is to assess whether the LEV system there are any vulnerabilities in the system and to remedy them.
LEV systems that are poorly installed and infrequently maintained often run into problems. We always recommend annual LEV testing and LEV servicing to ensure they’re operating as per their benchmarked performance levels.
Kitchen extraction systems are subjected to intense heat and cooking fumes and smoke. Maintaining the system effectively and efficiently can safeguard your business from two risks:
- Negligence claims from staff if staff develop long-term health problems
- Fee for Intervention (FFI) fines. Read up on our ‘Fee for Intervention: Explained‘ guidance, which documents the risk of non-compliance with the law and regulations.
What Does The Law State?
According to HSE’s SR17: Controlling Cooking Fumes guidance, it advises that you need to: “Get a competent ventilation engineer to examine the system thoroughly and test its performance at least once every 14 months (see HSE publication HSG54 – Now updated to HSG258: Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work: A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)).”
Whilst under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 specifically, Regulation 9, which states: “Engineering controls should be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, in good repair and in a clean condition.”
Typical Kitchen Extraction Systems
As sufficient energy is produced from the process, the best capture method for a commercial kitchen extraction system is typically a receiving canopy. These are commonly known as an extraction canopy too. This capture method is particularly effective in the kitchen setting, as there’s usually enough heat or speed generated for the smoke, smoke or steam to make its own way to the hood. An example of this capture hood is a Fume Canopy.
Fume canopies typically form a part of a complete LEV system, which may involve the capture hood (fume cabinet), a filter (depending on the airborne contaminants the system’s removing), a fan (the air mover) and a discharge stack. Extraction machines are tailored to your exact kitchen or commercial kitchen requirements. Fume canopies are typically manufactured from food-grade stainless steel to prevent the elements in the system from rusting.
Do I Have To Test LEV Kitchen Extraction Systems?
The certification of LEV systems is called LEV testing, however, it is sometimes also known as ‘COSHH testing’ or a ‘Thorough Examination and Test’ (TExT). They should be utilised by employers as a management audit tool to assess the LEV system over the past year. The primary objective of completing tests is to identify defects in the LEV equipment to have them remedied so those airborne contaminants at work are adequately controlled.
What Are My Responsibilities As A Business Owner?
HSG258 guidance describes how extraction system testing is a legal requirement, stating: “The employer of the people being protected by the LEV has legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act), the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) (COSHH) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR).”
In the COSHH regulations, Regulation 7 – Prevention or Control of Exposure to Substances Hazardous to Health, it states: “Every employer shall ensure that the exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.”
Regulation 9 of the COSHH regulations is dedicated to the Maintenance, Examination and Testing of Control Measures. We’ve put together a guide, Regulation 9 of COSHH Explained, which details the ins and outs of this regulation and what you can do to comply with the regulations.
Who Is Qualified To Complete An LEV Test?
If you select Auto Extract Systems as your chosen LEV testing service provider, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll have a competent person certify your dust and fume extraction systems. Our LEV test examinations are very thorough and are carried out by engineers, who have specific qualifications in the ‘Examination and Testing of LEV Systems’.
Two of our LEV Maintenance and Service Engineers have studied and gained their P601 qualifications. Find out more about in our blog post, New Qualifications for Auto Extract Systems LEV Testing Engineers.
Save Yourself Time and Money
Save yourself time and money out of maintaining your LEV systems with a comprehensive Service Level Agreements (SLA). We offer tailored maintenance service contracts for all types of LEV equipment and we can tailor maintenance schedules around you to suit you and your business’s operational requirements.
Why Choose Auto Extract Systems?
Auto Extract Systems is the UK’s leading LEV company. Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of businesses create dust and fume free workplaces. We have been helping businesses maintain LEV systems and provide pollution-free workplaces with comprehensive maintenance services. Find out more about us here.
Our team of P601 qualified LEV system design engineers have the know-how and the ability to comprehensive service and test your businesses’ LEV systems to help your business meet HSE’s HSG258 guidance.
As experts in all things LEV, we can help your business become COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulation 2002 compliant with a tailored LEV solution. We provide comprehensive design, installation, maintenance and certification services across a range of industry sectors.