Carl Latham, Divisional Sales Director (Aftersales) at Filtermist, will be taking part in a BTMA (British Turned Parts Manufacturers Association) Zoom meeting focussing on Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems on 2nd December. The meeting is designed to help BTMA members understand their responsibilities under COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations.
Carl has more than 10 years’ experience in industrial extraction and holds P601, P602, P604 and W201 BOHS Qualifications. He is also a British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) exam marker.
We spoke to Carl about the forthcoming online meeting and the wider focus on LEV systems….
“The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that all machine tools are fitted with LEV systems as this is widely recognised as being the most effective control measure for protecting people from exposure to airborne oil mist particles. But it’s not just the metalworking industry that needs to know about LEV – any manufacturer undertaking processes which create airborne contaminants including dust, fume, smoke and VOCs as well as mist particles, should utilise Local Exhaust Ventilation to ensure airborne pollution is minimised.
“COSHH has been around since 1988, but there still appears to be a general lack of awareness about both employers’ and employees’ responsibilities if they have LEV systems fitted in their production facility.”
The BTMA meeting on the 2nd December will cover the following topics:
- What is LEV?
- An overview of COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) 2002 Regulations that govern LEV and the responsibilities of both employers AND employees to ensure COSHH compliance
- Testing frequency intervals
- Ensuring your LEV system is fit for purpose
What is LEV?
Filtermist’s LEV Testing, Air Monitoring & Air Sampling flyer contains details of what is classed as an LEV System, but essentially LEV includes a hood (or multiple hoods), ducting, a filter, a fan and a discharge mechanism. Follow this link to download the LEV Testing flyer.
COSHH requirements for employers
If an employer is using LEV as a control measure to comply with COSHH, they must ensure that their employees are trained to use the system as intended, accurate records of maintenance and Thorough Examination and Testing (TExTs) are kept, and they must also ensure that the system is regularly tested by a competent person AT LEAST once every 14 months
COSHH requirements for employees
Employees are required to use LEV if it is installed and to report any defects in the system ‘forthwith’. Filtermist provides comprehensive LEV logbooks which can be used to record daily, weekly and monthly operator checks, as well as monitoring systems including F Monitor 2 which provides an easy to see visual alert system if the extraction system needs attention. Please contact our team if you would like us to send you an LEV logbook.
Testing frequency intervals
COSHH requires ALL LEV systems to be tested at least once every 14 months by a competent person, however some applications will require far more frequent testing. For example, LEV used in jute cloth manufacture requires testing once a month due to the nature of this application. More details can be found on page 85 of HSE publication HSG258 ‘Controlling airborne contaminants at work - A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV)’.
The latest LEV ebulletin from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) focusses on ‘competency’ – what the HSE means by ‘competent’, the LEV competency matrix, factors to consider when buying LEV equipment and how to select a competent LEV supplier.
According to the HSE, competency is ‘….the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has, and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence.’
Ensuring an LEV system is fit for purpose
Installing effective Local Exhaust Ventilation should never be viewed as a box-ticking exercise to placate the HSE – it can literally mean the difference between life and death for employees. The latest HSE statistics released earlier this month show that there are still approximately 12,000 lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.
The LEV specified should be the most suitable for the customer’s specific requirements. This will vary depending on the contaminant being removed, the exact application, the amount of time the extraction will need to run and the business needs, amongst other things. The HSE has compiled a publication aimed at helping customers to ensure they get the best service from their LEV supplier:
Clearing the air – A simple guide to buying and using local exhaust ventilation (LEV)
Filtermist’s Divisional Sales Director (Oil Mist and Industrial Vacuums), Craig Woodward, recently spoke to MTD CNC about the various technologies used for oil mist extraction - reiterating the fact that LEV should be specified depending on a number of parameters. Follow this link to view the film on Filtermist’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/hnWpHFrqSy4
“The BTMA meeting will provide a forum for members to find out more about their obligations and to voice any questions they might have,” says Carl. “We are really pleased that the BTMA is helping to raise awareness of this important issue.”
Visit https://www.btma.org/ to find out more about the BTMA.
More useful links
Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2020: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1920.pdf
Find out more about Carl by following this link.
Time to clear the air - A workers’ pocket guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV) https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg409.pdf