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Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) on #WorldVentil8Day
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Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) on #WorldVentil8Day

08 Nov 22

ILEVE Steering Committee Adrian Ogden discusses the importance of good air quality and ventilation in workplaces on #WorldVentil8Day.

#WorldVentil8Day has been initiated by a group of researchers and professional bodies, including CIBSE who are passionate about the importance of ventilation.

Over 12,000 deaths per year from respiratory disease -HSE - 32 people per day!

There are currently an estimated 18,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year among those in, or recently in, work.

Annual costs of new cases of work – related ill health in (2017 –2018) don’t make good reading at approximately £9.8 Billion (£9,800,000,000) and this number excludes long latency diseases, such as cancer.

Approximately 12,000 people died from work related disease - 99% Health related and 1% Safety related

Exposures to asbestos (either mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer) accounts for approximately 2,400 deaths per year.

The next three biggest categories of occupational cancer were lung cancer due to:

  • Silica
  • Diesel engine exhaust
  • Mineral oils

Adverse health effects can occur when employees are exposed to occupational hazards such as dusts, fumes and vapours (chemical or biological agents).

The effects of exposure to a hazard depend on the frequency, duration, and degree of exposure: some substances can cause immediate health effects, such as carbon monoxide poisoning; others, such as asbestos, can have a long latency period. The potential for exposure to any chemical or biological agent needs to be assessed in each place of work.

In preventing exposure to harmful substances in the workplace, there is a hierarchy of control measures that must be considered, commencing with the elimination or substitution of the hazard or, where these options are not possible, the hazard must be controlled by engineering means. Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is one such engineering control measure.

More recently, the term Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) has come into use, more than merely dust control. The HSE set about establishing definitions and exposure limits for a huge range of airborne contaminants from ever increasing volumes of test data.

Lung disease remains a serious problem in the workplace contributing to an estimated 12,000 deaths a year and thousands more with limiting conditions.

LEV has become the accepted name for the equipment required for removing contaminants from workplace air, with HSE publications HSG258 and EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits being the go-to guidance materials for reference.

The CIBSE Institute of Local Exhaust Ventilation Engineers (ILEVE) exists to recognise competence in the practical application of local exhaust ventilation and to raise awareness of the importance of good air quality and ventilation in workplaces. ILEVE is supported by the Health and Safety Executive. 

Read more about ILEVE.

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