Local exhaust ventilation

LEV includes any engineering control system installed to reduce exposures to airborne containments such as dust, mist, fume, vapour or gas in a workplace. It includes

  • fume cupboards/hoods
  • full/partial enclosures such as welding bays
  • capture hoods
  • downdraught tables (if used to control exposure to hazardous substances)
  • Nederman-type flexible receiving hoods and their extract systems
  • spray booths

All LEV must be correctly selected, specified, installed and operated if it is to protect users from airborne contaminants.

Engineering controls must be subject to a thorough examination and testing at least every 14 months (COSHH Regulation 9) - see the guidance on statutory inspections.

This is carried out by Allianz (currently), paid for centrally and monitored by Safety Services.

Some areas carry out the testing of fume cupboards themselves and must follow the guidance in this toolkit.

The HSE webpages on LEV have extensive information for users and buyers of LEV systems.

NB Microbiological cabinets or biological safety cabinets, and cabinets providing protection from environmental contamination only (eg laminar flow cabinets) are not tested by Allianz, schools are responsible for ensuring these are tested.