The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health guidance requires business owners and duty holders to provide and maintain Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems. In this article, we’ve explained Regulation 9 of the COSHH regulations in more detail to aid companies who operate LEV systems.
What Is COSHH Regulation 9?
Regulation 9 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) is titled ‘Maintenance, examination and testing of control measures’. It states:
“Every employer who provides any control measure to meet the requirements of regulation 7 (Prevention or control of exposure to substances hazardous to health) shall ensure that engineering controls (such as local exhaust ventilation systems) are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, in good repair and in a clean condition.”
Employers should ensure that a thorough examination and test (TExT, or commonly known as LEV Testing) is carried out at least once every 14 months. A LEV test provides certification whether the extraction system is fit-for-use and can adequately control airborne contaminants. It documents how well the dust and fume LEV systems operate and certifies whether the equipment is currently operating within the law.
LEV tests and repairs should be carried out by a competent person; who’ll be able to check the effectiveness of every element of the control measure.
Employers should keep records of tests (and any subsequent advisory repairs) available for at least 5 years.
Compliance with COSHH Regulation 9 is a mandatory and legal requirement.
Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations
Local exhaust ventilation regulations do exactly what they say ‘on the tin’; they regulate the standard of LEV systems. This is primarily because LEV systems are prone to wear and tear damage with daily and regular use. LEV systems may develop leaks, blockages, and external or internal damage over time. The HSE, therefore, enforced Local Exhaust Ventilation Regulations to ensure that the examination and testing of those controls are carried out.
COSHH Regulation 9 and the Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work: A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) guidance is provided by the HSE for businesses in Great Britain to help businesses provide pollution-free workplaces.
In the HSE’s Health and Safety at Work: Summary Statistics for Great Britain 2020, it is estimated that:
- Over 13,000 deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust.
- 1.6 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health (new or long-standing) in 2019/20
- 638,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related ill health in 2019/20
- 32.5 million working days lost due to work-related ill health in 2019/20
It’s for this reason why businesses need to provide LEV, as they control exposures and; why Regulation 9 of COSHH, exist.
How To Comply With The Regulations?
The COSHH regulations apply to every employer in Great Britain that uses or produces hazardous substances, such as dust, fumes, vapours, gases and mists in the workplace as part of their operational processes.
To comply with regulation 9 of COSHH, all LEV systems will require a LEV test at least every 14 months, however, there are exceptions where systems may require a test more frequently, either monthly or six-monthly.
You can become compliant with local exhaust ventilation regulations by:
- Daily to monthly in-house checks to ensure the LEV system continues to run properly
- Regular maintenance, for example, LEV Servicing
- Thorough testing of the LEV system (at least every 14 months)
Get Regulation 9 of COSHH Compliant Today
Get HSE compliant with our annual LEV testing service. In our LEV testing service, we’ll take care of your LEV system’s testing to ensure that it is functioning correctly and is compliant with the latest HSE regulations. We have a team of P601 qualified LEV testing engineers and cover the whole of Great Britain.
LEV specification and testing require trusted expertise. We work strictly in adherence to HSE’s HSG258 guidance and have the knowledge of the standards and the proficiency to test and certify whether extraction systems are effective in reducing exposure to airborne contaminants. In addition, if a system were to fail its LEV test, we offer a Remedial Works service to help businesses reinstate LEV systems to their efficient working order.
We’ll help you fulfil your legal obligation by ensuring your LEV equipment is thoroughly examined and tested, meaning you can rest easy knowing that your staff are safe and you don’t have the risk of incurring any potential HSE exposure fines (see Welding Fume Exposure, Metalworking Fluid Exposure and Lead Dust Exposure).
Essential Elements of COSHH
The legal requirements require employers to complete regular COSHH risk assessments. Regulation 7 first requires employers to make all conscious efforts to follow the COSHH hierarchical approach. The hierarchal approach recommends that substances should be substituted from the process to either eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure. However, if elimination or substitutions can’t be avoided, control measures, such as engineering controls should be implemented to control the risk.
COSHH regulations place the duty of care on employers to ensure employees (and other people in a workplace) who may be exposed to specific substances are protected. To find out more about the necessary steps to take to ensure your workplace complies with the COSHH Regulations, read our article, The 7 Essential Elements of COSHH [Infographic].
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 steadily been building and diversifying into new industries to help businesses provide pollution-free workplaces with comprehensive LEV (local exhaust ventilation) systems. Our team of P602 qualified LEV system design engineers to have over 80 years of combined experience, the know-how, and the ability to specify comprehensive 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. Find out more about us here.