LEV COSHH testing is essential in both healthcare and industry, to provide protection from potentially harmful dust, gases or vapours. The COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations were laid down in 2002, as a UK government measure. One of the main requirements of this legislation is that all local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems must be tested for compliance at least every 14 months.
LEV systems are a specific way of controlling hazardous substances in some situations – and those specifics are covered by HSG 258 guidelines, which specifies what testing and maintenance should apply to LEV systems to be compliant. As one of the first companies in the UK to provide LEV testing, Tecomak has a team of technicians highly skilled in this area. We can provide you with an excellent ongoing LEV and fume cupboard maintenance service, putting the emphasis on safety.
Who Can Carry Out LEV COSHH Testing?
Either in-house or third-party contractors can carry out LEV COSHH testing under the law. However, all personnel carrying out this task must be “competent”, meaning that they are required to have “appropriate knowledge, capabilities and experience”.
“Competence” goes far beyond general familiarity with the system and includes the need to recognise damaged parts of an LEV by looking at them, as well as knowing the performance standard for each part. Examiners need a full knowledge of the whole measuring, assessment and testing regime, together with the relevant legislation. They must be able to assess whether the LEV is working effectively to reduce contamination in the air, and be able to work safely with the system, as well as collating and recording information clearly.
To achieve the required level of competence in-house will almost certainly require dedicated staff with specialist training. For a company with just a few LEV systems, it is probably not cost-effective to have permanent staff just for this. Also, if a member of staff at your plant has to carry out LEV testing as just one element of their role, it may be hard to fit this in with production or operational responsibilities. This means there is potential for local exhaust ventilation testing to be given less attention than necessary.
The Value of Independent LEV Testing from Tecomak
1. Guaranteed Competence
All Tecomak staff are fully trained and have all relevant LEV certification, including COSHH and BOHS qualifications. They are also all CRB certified, for work in educational or healthcare environments. All our technicians are highly experienced in LEV maintenance, for all types of industrial, healthcare, pharmaceutical and educational systems.
2. Up-to-Date Testing Techniques
Testing standards and techniques do evolve over time – which means ongoing training for in-house staff, incurring additional expense. However, as specialists in LEV COSHH testing, our staff are constantly up to date with the latest techniques and requirements, so this will not be a worry if you arrange a contract with us.
3. Independent Eyes
An LEV system may be inadequate for the purpose, or changes may have occurred to make it no longer as effective as it needs to be. If in-house staff are used to working with a system, there is a danger that they will accept it as a given and not question whether it is still up to the job.
A key part of the ventilation system testing role is to question whether the LEV is still adequate for the task and providing sufficient protection. It is also essential to feed any concerns back to the company or organisation – as opposed to blindly testing the system that is in place. An independent set of eyes will be better placed to spot such issues, compared to in-house staff who are acting in good faith but may have become accustomed to “the way things are”.
4. Protecting Your Business
Of course in-house testers will themselves want to ensure maximum LEV safety and compliance – but in any potential legal situation it is all too easy to question the impartiality of a tester who is also an employee of the company under investigation. Using a reputable, experienced, independent testing company avoids this possibility. Regular, scheduled maintenance by a qualified contractor can also help to refute any suggestion of negligence and avoid reputational damage, and potential shutdown of operations, if HSE inspectors are not satisfied with the safety of the system.
5. Record keeping
All local exhaust ventilation testing must be correctly recorded with required paperwork to an acceptable standard. We perform all record keeping to required standards, and archive the records for you, removing this admin task from your own workforce.
6. Cost effective
When you take out a contract for ventilation maintenance, you pay in proportion to the number of LEV systems your organisation has. This means manageable and predictable costs – especially if you are on a 5 year fixed price contract with Tecomak.
7. Tecomak’s LEV COSHH Testing Service
Tecomak offers a quality LEV COSHH testing service with fully-qualified engineers. We can combine tests with maintenance to keep any downtime to a minimum. And if you have questions beyond current systems, and are thinking of changing your LEV plant or adding another one, we can provide you with consultancy-level expertise.
Tecomak Environmental Services carries out LEV COSHH testing in schools and colleges as well as industrial and healthcare locations. Follow the link to get in touch and to learn more about our expert services.