Regular LEV testing and examinations every 14 months will keep your employees safe and ensure you remain compliant with HSE regulations. We provide a thorough LEV testing service in the UK where our engineers will manage your LEV system's testing, ensuring it functions correctly and is compliant with health & safety regulations. It is your duty to assess the risk to your workers and implement measures that will reduce their exposure to hazardous substances such as dust and fumes. With Auto Extract Systems, you won't miss an LEV test. We will help you remain on schedule and provide solutions that minimise the risk to your staff.
Learn more about LEV testing with this in-depth guide, and when you're ready, let's book a test!
Our LEV Maintenance team will arrange a date that’s convenient to you for our P601 certified inspection engineer to visit your workplace and perform a LEV (local exhaust ventilation) test, as per the HSE's HSG258 guidance.
I would have no hesitation recommending Auto Extract Systems to any potential company requiring their services. I've used them for all our annual LEV testing, certification and repairs over the last 4 years and have been extremely pleased with the service from their staff; they're helpful, professional and committed to giving the best value. The aftercare is second-to-none and the LEV Report Portal is very useful!
What Is LEV Testing?
In HSE's HSG258: Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work: A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) guidance, a LEV test is defined as a "Detailed and systematic examination sufficient to make sure that the LEV system can continue to perform as intended by design and will contribute to the adequate control of exposure. The thorough examination would normally include such functional testing to provide sufficient evidence to indicate adequate control is being achieved."
LEV tests are also commonly known as a Thorough Examination and Tests (TExT), or as a COSHH test. These tests allow businesses to ensure that LEV equipment is maintained. They ensure that adequate control measures are in place to protect workers who regularly work with hazardous substances. The tests ensure that the extraction equipment is maintained in efficient working order.
LEV extraction testing can be used as a preventative maintenance method. It can help companies to identify and solve any mechanical issues that may arise over a period, which may affect operations. Our engineers are specialists in this area and hold in-depth knowledge of systems' design and operations, enabling them to identify any potential faults or weaknesses before a breakdown.
Why Do You Need to Test?
LEV systems themselves are a necessity in the workplace to remove harmful substances from the air, preventing workers from inhaling contaminants that can cause dangerous consequences. Like with any working equipment, LEV systems are heavily regulated to ensure they are in good working condition and are operated correctly. As specified by the Health and Safety at Work Act, it is a legal requirement that companies conduct regular LEV testing. You should undergo LEV testing to comply with the law, avoid serious punishment and prevent your staff from suffering an injury. HSE inspectors may randomly visit your workplace and find that correct procedures are not being adhered to. The last thing you want is for your business to be hit with a heavy fine or even worse, employees ending up with serious injuries.
What Does the Law State About LEV Testing?
Dust and fume extraction system testing is a legal requirement for compliance with the health and safety standards and test reports often form part of a company's insurance. Inadequate testing can result in employers being prosecuted, insurance being invalidated and employees falling ill.
It states in The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 have been effective since December 1999, and are additional to the law under the Health and Safety of Work Act 1974. Regulation 7 of the guidance states: "Employers must ensure that whoever carries out maintenance, examinations and tests is competent to do so.
An extraction system testing is a process whereby an extraction unit's air flows are measured against its initial benchmarked performance levels. An annual LEV test is built from these three core areas...
Checking and Maintenance
Checking and maintenance include the visual examination of the local exhaust ventilation system's condition, including:
Mechanical integrity (including corrosion, damage, seals, dampers, and sash suspensions)
Cleanliness of hoods (including canopies and duct interiors)
The operation of LEV monitors
Pressure relief or inerting systems
Illumination in booths and hoods
Alarm systems operate correctly
Water quality check (if appropriate on, for example, a Wet Collector
Make-up air (without draughts or blockages) and list spare parts, if required
A Thorough Examination and Test
An annual LEV test report details:
LEV identity and its location
The time and date the test was performed
The control and test methods employed
The comparison with commissioning or subsequent test reports, where available
Technical performance includes:
Measuring the static pressure target values in the duct
The points and other identified points
The target velocities for each point and other velocities
The operators' exposure compared to exposure benchmark performance levels
A Thorough LEV Testing Report
Our testing procedure is one of the most detailed and comprehensive reports on the market today and primarily focuses on capturing and reporting qualitative data. Our report includes mandatory details required by the HSE, such as velocity readings, pressure readings and schematic drawings. In our report, we also detail our findings to help make the working environment a safer and cleaner workplace. Our qualified engineers detail problems and faults identified during the thorough examination and test. We'll certify extraction systems that are suitable for use are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, in good repair and in a clean condition.
The most detailed report in the industry...
Our testing report is one of the most thorough and detailed reports in the industry and one of our most critical LEV testing services. We stringently test systems to ensure they're performing as per the initial benchmarked performance levels and adhere to HSE's HSG258 guidance.
It is a legal requirement for an employer to look after the welfare of its employees. COSHH regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) of 2002 and HSE guidance HSG258 state that: "LEV equipment should be thoroughly examined and tested at least once every 14 months." Tests of systems should be in good working order and in good repair. It's essential that you look around for the best UK LEV testing companies to ensure you continue to follow the law.
In addition, HSE requires the employer to keep hold of the LEV system's test report records and manuals should be kept in a logbook for at least five years and be kept readily accessible at any reasonable time for an examination.
Regular risk assessments will assist you to control exposures to hazardous substances. We always recommend nominating a competent person to complete regular risk assessments. We've put together a post on the '7 Essential Elements of COSHH', which can be utilised FREE to help your business control exposure to dust and fumes. In addition, we also recommend regular staff health surveillance. These steps can help identify whether or not personal protective equipment.
LEV Testing Frequency
The maximum period between LEV tests for most systems is once in a 14 month period. However, we typically recommend regular testing is carried out annually months for regularity. Read our article, Annual LEV Testing - Everything You Need to Know.
In HSE's HSG258 guidance, it states: "If wear and tear on the LEV system are liable to mean that the system effectiveness will degrade between tests, then LEV tests should be carried out more frequently."
There are exceptions for some systems where different processes and materials are undertaken which require more for more frequent testing, these processes include:
Processes in which blasting is carried out in or incidents additional to the cleaning of metal castings in connection with their manufacture
Jute cloth manufacture
Processes, other than wet processes, in which metal articles (other than gold, platinum or iridium) are ground, abraded or polished using mechanical power in any room for more than 12 hours a week
Processes giving off dust or fume in which non-ferrous metal castings are produced
LEV Test Record Keeping
Businesses should keep a record of all LEV tests and the maintenance carried out to document and demonstrate that it is working as well as it should be. By logging all a LEV system's paperwork, you can keep track of problems and sort repairs before they become more severe.
We understand that all businesses are different, so we take an individual approach and tailor our solutions. As a professional LEV testing company, we have the knowledge and experience to deal with all aspects of engineering risk as they apply to your business, and will work with you in the way that suits you best.
Additional Benefits of Testing
Inspections on Time
We work with companies to ensure that LEV plant is examined when required and if an inspection is likely to become overdue. We have systems and processes in place to alert you so that it can quickly be rescheduled. We do all this so your business is less likely to suffer from plant failures, protecting your turnover as a consequence.
We maintain a secure LEV Test Report Portal. Our portal is a digital file-sharing platform whereby automatic reminders are sent out to help keep you HSE-compliant. It will also archive documentation after 5 years (as per the HSE's recommendations) to save you time and money on administration efforts.
By scheduling regular maintenance, as part of a PPM (planned preventative maintenance) schedule helps to prevent unplanned breakdowns. Having a comprehensive PPM in place can prevent the potential for breakdown, confirm safety, and ensure the LEV system is in an efficient working condition for operation.
We offer a comprehensive Smoke Clearance Testing service in line with the HSE's guidance to ensure your LEV equipment adequately controls and removes smoke from the working environment in a controlled and reasonable time. Smoke clearance time test and LEV tests are an essential part of a spray booth's maintenance regime. It is a practical way of measuring the time it takes to clear the booth or room from smoke.
We can help your business with high-quality and thorough spray booth smoke clearance testing to help protect employees. Our range of testing services will ensure you comply with COSHH Regulations 2002.
A LEV test will help to identify if the plant or equipment has any defects, or defects pending. In the scenario that a LEV system to meet the required benchmark performance levels, recommendations will be made for maintenance work to be completed. A Remedial Works quotation will be assembled to reinstate the system back to the required benchmarked performance levels.
We conducted over 7,200 LEV tests during 2019. 16% of the inspections carried out revealed that they had defects that could pose an imminent risk of ill-health to employees.
What Are the Consequences of Not Testing?
LEV systems require regular testing by a qualified and competent person to ensure that the equipment is working as intended. Under the law, LEV testing is required at least every 14 months, although we advise that tests are carried out on an annual basis. Testing ensures that the systems are working effectively and are safe to use. Without regular inspections, there is a greater risk of issues being ignored, malfunctions occurring and accidents happening. For this reason, missing a test can have serious consequences for you and your business. Companies have been fined significant amounts as a result of failing LEV systems or not performing regular testing.
What Our Customers Are Saying
We believe that we offer the complete LEV testing solution to ensure that businesses of all industries are complying with health and safety regulations, ensuring a safe workplace for employees and the public. Our engineers are fully qualified, offer excellent customer service and provide all necessary reports. With a service level agreement tailored to you, we ensure that your business never fails to meet a maintenance schedule. Not to mention we can serve commercial customers across the United Kingdom. But don't just take our word for it! Here's a snippet of what our customers think of our LEV testing services...
"Our Fleet workshop based in Hull, Yorkshire have used Auto Extract Systems for all our LEV testing, certification and repairs over the last 4 years.
"We have been extremely pleased with the full service from contact to inspection from all members of there staff.
"All the staff are helpful, professional and committed to giving the best value and service as well as the aftercare which is second to none with a fantastic portal service which is very useful to the client.
"I would have no hesitation recommending Auto Extract Systems to any potential company requiring there services." - Tony Kirk
Insurance Company LEV Testing
It’s a common misconception that LEV equipment has to be tested and maintained by the installer or by their insurance company, however, it's important to know that LEV test reports often form part of a company’s insurance policy. Inadequate testing can result in employers being prosecuted, insurance policies being invalidated and even employees becoming ill. We strongly advise ensuring that should your insurance company provide LEV testing, that it's comprehensive and thorough to comply with an HSE inspection.
In our experience, insurance companies typically offer testing as a 'free' service when a policy is taken out. As with anything, nothing's ever free. This is why we advise businesses who opt for their insurance companies to complete their testing, to one, not only ensure its comprehensive, but two, to ensure that should any remedial work actions be advised, that you seek the advise from a specialist LEV provider to remedy the problems identified.
At Auto Extract Systems, we're happy to work with businesses who opt for their LEV testing to be undertaken from an insurance company (or other kind of business, such as a occupational hygienist). We have dedicated engineering teams who are experts in the installations, maintenance and testing of all kinds of LEV systems. Get in touch to day for a free, no-obligation remedial quotation!
Should LEV Systems Be Serviced?
To ensure the longevity of your system is preserved and effective, we always recommend that LEV testing is completed in tandem with LEV Servicing.
As part of a thorough PPM (planned preventative maintenance) schedule, we also recommend that LEV equipment should be serviced at least every 12-months and more frequently if its usage is high. This is so it operates within its required benchmark performance and reduces hazardous substances exposure.
What Industries Require Testing?
There are no limits to the types of industries that must follow LEV guidance. Every business regardless of their sector should follow health and safety laws when working with hazardous substances. With that said, there are certain industries where working with hazardous substances is more likely to be the case. If a workplace uses an LEV system to extract harmful materials, such as dust and fumes, then the system must undergo regular LEV testing.
Here is a brief list of just some of the industries where LEV testing is a likely requirement:
Oil & Gas
Visit our industry page to learn more about the different types of companies that we have worked with.
The 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 companies 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].
Who Doesn't Want to Save Money?
Obviously, every business owner is conscious about saving money where possible, providing there's still value being added for the service provided. That's why we've developed our Service Level Agreements (SLA) plan. By taking out a Service Level Agreement, you'll still benefit from the same outstanding service you've come to expect from Auto Extract Systems, however, we'll also save you money on future LEV tests and servicing plans. We'll tailor a bespoke SLA for your exact business or site's requirements.
Safeguard Your Business Today
If HSE inspects your workplace and finds your business to be in breach of health and safety law, you will liable to pay them for their time. Their time will be used to help identify what is wrong and help you put it right. This scheme is known as Fee for Intervention (FFI) and is in place to recover costs incurred from the inspection, investigation and enforcement actions. The current rate is £160 plus VAT, per hour, per HSE inspector. We've put together a blog article, titled 'Fee For Intervention - Explained', which details the severity of not complying with the legislation and regulations.
Reduce the risk of ‘No-Win, No Fee’ negligence claims. Poor air quality can damage a worker's long and short-term health, whilst also impacting their productivity and ability to work. Some common health implications caused by exposure to contaminants (such as fumes, dust, vapours, and mists) can lead to occupational asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and even cancers.
Safeguard your business against uncontrollable FFI costs and potential liability claims with a comprehensive LEV system.
Checklist to Help You to Choose the Right LEV Supplier
If you’re in the market for a new Local Exhaust Ventilation system, it can be a tough decision to decide which is the best solutions provider to choose. We want to help, so we’ve assembled a checklist (and article) to help guide you to select the right LEV supplier for your business and requirements. Visit our article on How to Choose a Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Supplier and download the checklist.
Learn How We Helped Businesses Like Yours
We are one of the most experienced LEV testing companies around. To find out more about the latest dust extraction LEV installations we've been working on, check out our Case Studiessection.
We Do Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service forms the foundation of our business and we take a great deal of pride in delivering the highest standard service. We know we offer the most thorough and complete service available in our field.