Despite all the obstacles the UK economy faces, Manchester continues to thrive. The city’s GDP is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2024, a figure much higher than the country’s growth of just 0.4%. This growth is partly driven by key sectors such as the construction, manufacturing, and automotive industries, as well as businesses specialising in welding, metal fabrication, carpentry, and joinery. These industries are very different from each other, but they have one thing in common: they rely on LEV systems. Discover more about this technology and how it is helping Manchester’s businesses to thrive.

What is LEV?

An LEV, or Local Exhaust Ventilation system, is a device designed to keep workplaces free of airborne contaminants. They capture dust, mist, fumes, vapours, or gases at (or near) the source of emission and safely exhaust them away from the work area, preventing inhalation by workers. These pieces of equipment are crucial in industries where hazardous substances are part of the working environment.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH) Regulations, enforced by the  Health and Safety Executive (HSE), require employers to assess the risk of health hazards in the workplace and to implement adequate control measures to prevent or reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous substances.

This includes determining whether harmful substances can be eliminated or substituted with a less toxic alternative. If dangerous substances are essential and cannot be eliminated, the next step is to control exposure.

Local Exhaust Ventilation systems are one of the most effective engineering controls recommended by CoSHH. The guidelines also require that any control measures taken, including LEV systems, are adequately maintained and regularly inspected to ensure their effectiveness.

The HSE provides specific guidance and resources on how to design, use, and maintain LEV systems to meet CoSHH regulations. Compliance with these rules helps protect workers’ health and ensures that businesses are legally protected against liability and potential penalties for non-compliance.

When Might You Need an LEV Solution?

The short answer is: whenever you have a working environment that produces dust, fumes, aerosols or gases. Here are some key examples. 

  1. Handling of Toxic Chemicals: Workers handling hazardous substances like benzene, formaldehyde, chlorine gas, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, isocyanates, mercury, toluene, acetone, and methylene chloride face significant health risks from inhalation of vapours.
  2. Processes Generating Dust: Substantial amounts of dust are generated in industries like woodworking, grinding, and metal or stone cutting, which can impair respiratory health.
  3. Welding and Soldering Operations: These activities produce fumes that are harmful if inhaled, necessitating stringent controls.
  4. Pharmaceutical and Laboratory Work: Activities involving pharmaceutical powders or conducting experiments that release hazardous particles need careful management to prevent airborne exposure.
  5. Food Manufacturing: Certain production processes can release particulates, steam, or vapours, requiring effective management to ensure worker safety.
  6. Beauty and Nail Salons: The use of chemicals in treatments and applications releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful substances.
  7. Construction and Demolition Sites: Cutting and demolishing materials can release dust and fibres like silica or asbestos. To mitigate these dangers, a construction dust extractor is essential. It typically consists of a high-efficiency filter and a fan that creates suction to draw in dusty air. The air passes through the filter, which traps the particulates, and then expels cleaner air back into the environment or through an exhaust system.
  8. Paint Booths and Spray Painting Areas: Spray painting creates mists and vapours that, if inhaled, can lead to health issues, particularly in confined areas like paint booths.

How Auto Extract Systems Can Help

Manchester is a resilient city with a highly competitive economy. That’s why Auto Extract Systems goes above and beyond to support companies that prioritise compliance and the health of their staff. 

The process begins with a complimentary site assessment, ensuring that each new installation or system upgrade complies with stringent HSE HSG258 guidelines.

The expertise of Auto Extract Systems is further demonstrated in the design phase, where P602-certified engineers create customised LEV solutions tailored to the specific needs of various industries and processes. These designs adhere strictly to the latest safety regulations, providing businesses with assurance of compliance.

Following the approval of the design, Auto Extract Systems procures and supplies all necessary components for the installation, from capture hoods to high-velocity cowls, facilitating a comprehensive setup. The installation process is meticulously managed from the initial inquiry to final sign-off, encompassing thorough site evaluations and detailed planning by project engineers to ensure seamless integration.

After the installation, AES conducts extensive training sessions, equipping staff to safely and efficiently operate the new system. A 12-month warranty underscores AES’s confidence in the quality of its products.

The company also performs LEV testing, including smoke clearance tests, provides regular servicing and remedial works, and offers service level agreements for all LEV equipment, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

That’s why Auto Extract Systems stands as the UK’s leading LEV company, with over 20 years of experience in enhancing the safety and compliance of workplaces across various sectors.

If your business needs to install, maintain, or test LEV systems, Auto Extract Systems is the go-to company in Manchester.


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