Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) is a set of regulations in the UK that aim to protect employees and others from the harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. These regulations require employers to assess and control the risks associated with the use, handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances.
One of the key control measures for managing the risks of hazardous substances is the use of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems. These are systems that capture and remove hazardous substances at the source, preventing them from entering the workplace atmosphere and causing harm.
However, the effectiveness of an LEV system can be compromised over time due to factors such as wear and tear, changes in the work environment, and changes to the substances being used. To ensure that the LEV system is working effectively and providing the necessary protection, COSHH regulations require that it be tested regularly through a process called COSHH LEV testing.
COSHH LEV testing is a comprehensive examination of the LEV system to ensure that it is operating effectively and providing adequate protection against exposure to hazardous substances. The testing is typically carried out by a competent person who has the necessary skills and knowledge to identify and rectify any problems with the system.
During the testing process, the LEV system is assessed for various factors, including its design, performance, and maintenance. The testing may involve measuring the airflow rates, pressure drops, and the effectiveness of any filtration systems. The condition of the ducting, filters, and fans are also examined to ensure that they are in good working order.
COSHH LEV testing is a legal requirement for all LEV systems that are used to control exposure to hazardous substances. The frequency of testing depends on the type of substance being used and the level of risk associated with its use. In general, testing should be carried out at least once every 14 months for high-risk substances and at least once every 2 years for medium-risk substances.
There are several reasons why you need to have your LEV system tested regularly. Firstly, it ensures that your system is working effectively and providing the necessary protection to your employees. This can help to reduce the risk of health problems caused by exposure to hazardous substances, such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, and cancer.
Secondly, regular testing helps to identify any problems with the system before they become serious. This can prevent costly repairs and downtime, and ensure that the system continues to operate effectively over time.
Finally, regular testing helps to demonstrate compliance with COSHH regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal action, fines, and damage to your reputation.
In conclusion, COSHH LEV testing is an essential part of managing the risks associated with hazardous substances in the workplace. It ensures that your LEV system is operating effectively and providing the necessary protection to your employees. It also helps to identify any problems with the system before they become serious and demonstrates compliance with COSHH regulations.