Local Exhaust Ventilation

Fume Cupboards



Fume Cupboards

Fume Cupboard Code of Practice
Selection, installation, use, maintenance and decomissioning of fume cupboards (pdf document)

Fume Cupboard Selection Assessment Form (FCS1)

Guide to Fume Cupboards
Training Video (MP4 Format)

Safety Cabinets



Microbiological Safety Cabinets

Microbiological Safety Cabinets - Code of Practice
Selection, use and maintenance of microbiological safety cabinets

Monthly Inflow Velocities: Class I Safety Cabinets
Extracted from the College CoP on Microbiological Safety Cabinets (see above)

Monthly Inflow Velocities: Class II Safety Cabinets
Extracted from the College CoP on Microbiological Safety Cabinets (see above)

Template for the Assessment of Safety Cabinet Decontamination (Form MSC1)
Extracted from the College CoP on Microbiological Safety Cabinets (see above)

Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Policy

LEV Policy (pdf version)

Local exhaust ventilation ‘LEV’ is defined by Imperial College as any engineering control system used to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants in the workplace such as aerosols, dust, mist, fume, vapour or gas. Examples of LEV include microbiological safety cabinets, fume cupboards, ventilated workbenches, snorkels, capture hoods and booths. This policy applies to LEV required for the protection of human health or the environment.

Detailed requirements for the implementation of this policy are provided within the College Codes of Practice on specific types of LEV.

Wherever the duties of the Principal Investigator are described, the action can be delegated to a competent person (eg Lab Manager). In all such cases however, the responsibility remains with the PI.

It is College Policy that:

1. LEV is not applied until after the following controls are considered through risk assessment:

  • Eliminating the hazard.
  • Substituting the material being used with something less hazardous.
  • Minimising the scale of the work.
  • Modifying the process to reduce the frequency and duration of exposure.
  • Reducing the number of personnel involved with a process.
  • Applying simple controls such as the fitment of lids.

2. The need for LEV must be identified and recorded within the activity risk assessment.

3. The PI in consultation with a competent engineer, must specify the performance requirements of the LEV. For work of higher risk, the PI must also consult the Safety Department and where necessary, seek the approval of the Safety Department.

4. The LEV must be designed and installed by a competent engineer. Design principles must be in accordance with HSG258: Controlling airborne contaminants at work.

5. The LEV must be commissioned fully, so as to be able to adequately demonstrate the correct performance of the entire system. The commissioning records must be provided to the user before first use of the LEV.

6. The PI must be supplied with sufficient documents, information and training so as to understand how to operate the LEV correctly as well as the limitations of the system.

7. The PI must ensure that all users of the LEV are provided with sufficient information and training so as to operate the LEV correctly. Their competency in this and on how to safely conduct their own work within the LEV must be assessed before work is permitted.

8. All LEV must be routinely serviced and its performance verified according to a schedule specific to the equipment, but in all cases, LEV must be tested at least annually so as to demonstrate performance. Results of these routine tests must be displayed on the LEV immediately after testing. Full test reports must be provided to the PI as soon as possible thereafter.

9. All LEV and its critical components must be clearly labelled at installation so as to allow identification and to prevent interference with the system.

10. all LEV that has failed its performance testing must not be used for hazardous activities until such time as it can be repaired or replaced.

11. Imperial College's Approved Code of Practice, standards and guidance on each of the above policy requirements for specific types of LEV will be applied.

12. Work will be organised so that it complies with relevant health and safety legislation including (but not restricted to):

  • the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
  • the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations
  • the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations

Approved by College Health Safety & Environment Committee on 16 February 2011

Reviewed May 2015
Reviewed February 2016