15 Sep 2022

Annual LEV testing: Everything you need to know

Annual LEV Testing

What is LEV testing?

As mentioned in HSE’s HSG258: Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work: A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), an LEV test – otherwise known as a COSHH test – is a “detailed and systematic (annual) examination” that must be carried out in order to make sure that the LEV system or equipment performs as intended by design. The examination will indicate whether “adequate control is being achieved”, and if any mechanical issues are identified, steps must be taken in order to enhance performance. 

Why is LEV testing important?

Dust extraction and fume extraction are legal requirements that all business owners must abide by in order to ensure that health and safety standards are met. Inadequate testing could result in prosecution, invalidated insurance, and it could also impact the wellbeing of workers. Serious, long-term, and potentially fatal, health conditions could develop if LEV testing isn’t completed – which is any business owner’s worst nightmare, both from an ethical and financial standpoint. 

Who can perform an LEV test?

An LEV test must be performed by a competent, qualified person in order so that the results collected are as accurate and reliable as possible. 

How often should an LEV test be conducted?

As specified in the COSHH Regulations, LEV systems must be completed at least every 14 months to ensure that businesses are complying with the Health and Safety Work Act 1974

What happens during LEV testing?

During an LEV test, an extraction unit’s air flow will be measured against initial performance levels in order to determine whether it’s still working as it should. The test can be split into three distinct phases: 

Visual examination

The local exhaust ventilation system’s condition will be examined, which includes: 

  • Flexible ducts 
  • Mechanical integrity – for example, corrosion, damage and seals
  • Hood cleanliness – which includes duct interiors and canopies 
  • LEV monitor operation 
  • Airflow indicators 
  • Leakages 
  • Booth and hood illumination 
  • Make-up air without draughts or blockages
  • Noise pollution 
  • Correct operation of alarm systems 
  • Water quality – if appropriate 
  • Pressure relief of inerting systems

Thorough examination and test

An LEV report will highlight: 

  • LEV identity 
  • LEV location 
  • The responsible persons – for example, the employer’s name and address
  • Time and date of LEV test
  • Control and test methods used 
  • Comparison against other air sampling test reports – if available 

Technical performance

Evaluating an LEV’s technical performance will include:

  • A diagram showing the layout of the LEV, including the testing points 
  • Details on the intended operating performance and what is currently being achieved 
  • Information of methods used to test LEV’s technical performance 
  • Measuring the static pressure target values in the duct 
  • Notes on how operators use the LEV system 

Post LEV test completion

Once the LEV test has been completed, the examiner will highlight any wear and tear, along with any part replacements that are needed. The report will then be signed by the examiner. 

Airmatic LEV testing

Here at Airmatic, we provide a follow up LEV testing service once your extraction system has been installed to ensure that it’s working efficiently – which is always our aim. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you’re providing the safest possible working environment for your staff, without risk of disrupting daily tasks or activities. 

Keen to find out more? Contact our team today to find the right air purifying solution for you – regardless of the sector. From initial installation to LEV testing, we’ll work alongside you every step of the way.

Related Articles