COSHH Legislation



The current legislation regarding the testing of LEV systems may be summarised as follows:

Regulation 9


The Control of Substance Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 were introduced to control exposure to all substances hazardous to health arising from work activities.

"Every employer who provides any LEV to meet regulation 7 shall ensure that, it is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, in good repair and in a clean condition" Regulation 9-1 COSHH

These may be classified as being toxic, very toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant; dust and micro-organisms are also included.

"Every employer is required to make full and proper use of the equipment." Regulation 8-2 COSHH

The Health Act states that "every employer who provides any control measure to prevent exposure of an employee to a substance hazardous to health, shall ensure that it is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair" in addition, where engineering controls are provided, the employer shall ensure that thorough examination and tests are carried out and a suitable record of these be kept and made available for at least 5 years.

"Every employer who provides any LEV shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that it is properly used" Regulation 8-2 COSHH

In the case of Local Exhaust Ventilation plant (LEV) the examination and tests must be carried out to maximum period of 14 monthly intervals (in certain circumstances this period is reduced to every 6 months e.g. where metallic dust is being controlled).

"Any LEV must be thoroughly examined and tested at least once every 14 months" Regulation 9-2 COSHH  

Every employer's LEV system requires statutory 'thorough examination and testing' by a competent person. The examination and testing report must have a prioritised list of any remedial actions for the employer. The employer's engineer and person responsible for health & safety must see the report.

The maximum time between tests of LEV systems is set down in COSHH and for most systems this is 14 months. In practice this is normally taken to mean annually. The exceptions are as follows:

  • Processes in which blasting is carried out in or incidental to the cleaning of metal castings in connection with their manufacture - minimum frequency = 1month
  • Processes, other than wet processes, in which metals (other than gold, platinum or iridium) are ground, abraded or polished using mechanical power, in any room for more than 12 hours a week - minimum frequency = 6 months
  • Processes giving off fume in which non-ferrous metal castings are produced - minimum frequency = 6 months