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Health and Safety Directorate

Local Exhaust Ventilation


Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems include:

  • Fume cupboards
  • Biological safety cabinets
  • Extract hoods.

Their role is to prevent users from being exposed to harmful substances e.g. chemical vapours, dusts and microorganisms.  Users of the system should ensure they understand how to safely use the equipment and its limitations. (Laminar flow booths which are designed to protect the research material are not regarded as LEV).

There is a split responsibility for maintenance and inspections.

  • Ducted systems - Estates and Facilities (EAF)
  • Non-ducted and recirculating systems –School who owns equipment.
  • Projects should provide installation and testing information for newly installed equipment for their projects.

Daily user checks.  If there is any obvious damage to the LEV or it clearly isn’t working properly, you should report this and you should have it repaired straight away.

Every LEV should have a periodic thorough examination and test (at least every once 14 months) and you must keep this record for at least five years. In addition, you should have information on the installed LEV system to confirm it provides adequate protection, which should be kept for the life of the equipment.

QMUL Documents


HSE web site for LEV

Primary legislation

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) (as amended)

For Advice and Assistance at QMUL, contact the H&S Manager / Advisor for your Faculty / PS  or the subject lead at

All H&S staff can be contacted via the help desk at

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