Two recent prosecutions by HSE against companies who failed to protect their workers from exposure to harmful substances shows that they are still targeting Exposure Controls (LEV) – and the lack of them.
First up was a Furniture manufacturer who were fined £8000 with £1000 costs for exposing their employees to significant quantities of hard wood dust, a hazardous substance known to cause occupational asthma and nasal cancer.
The second case was against a Design and manufacturing company (£12,000 fine; £6,000 costs) after an employee developed occupational asthma as a result of inhaling fumes from a soldering operation. Most soldering involves fluxes containing Rosin or Colophony, which is a known asthmagen.
We here at OXYL8 are great fans of Elon Musk (Space-X, Tesla etc) and he has just our kind of humour. In his Hi-Tec stuff be hides what he calls ‘Easter Eggs‘ in the software; for example extra features, musical oddities, information etc.
Over the coming months we are going to ‘hide’ Easter Egg codes on our site.
They will be numerical or alpha-numerical codes which – when you see them – will be clearly out of kilter with the text or section of the site page in which they are embedded.
Easter Eggs? Well as we are fast approaching Easter we thought we would start the first one with exactly that – a nice chocolate Easter Egg.
But from there we have some other interesting ideas such as secret LEV Apps, discount vouchers for use on OXYL8 LEV Training Courses, Discounts to stay at Lochan Lodge etc
If you see an Easter Egg Code – to claim the ‘Egg‘ simply send us the code using this form:- Contact Form
At OXYL8 we appreciate that sometimes a delegate will attend one of our LEV Training Courses and then, following success in the exams ….. finds they are a bit out on their own on such issues as (for example) the practical side of conducting LEV testing. Maybe needing a bit of confidence/support …..?
In addition some time may have elapsed between success in the exams and preparing Case Studies/Reports etc
To address these issues we have a group of very approachable LEV Experts who can Tutor/Mentor the delegate in these topics as required.
WHAT’S ON OFFER?
On a practical level the Mentors may (by arrangement) permit a delegate to ‘shadow’ them on actual site LEV Examination and Testing work where the delegate can gain additional practical experience under the guidance of a friendly, supportive Expert.
Tutors/Mentors may also be able to offer one-on-one tutoring on matters related to the completion of Case Studies/Reports etc – please NOTE – they cannot do your Case Studies or Reports for you – but the Tutor/Mentor can provide additional teaching/tutoring in areas where the delegate is experiencing some difficulties (eg maths, identifying faults etc).
This additional one-to-one Tutoring will come at a small (very reasonable) cost and can often be undertaken using Skype etc rather than face to face meetings.
WHO ARE OUR MENTORS/GUIDES?
Competence: 13 years’ experience now Designing, project managing, purchasing, LEV testing, commissioning, balancing & servicing of Local Exhaust Ventilation plant.
Holder of BOHS full suite of Accreditations P601, P602, P603, P604 & W201. Also hold site specific safety qualifications such as IPAF, Forklift, various awareness certificates.
What can I offer OXYL8 delegates:
· Friendly practical advice.
· Access to sites/LEV Plant for the purposes of writing reports for attaining the P601 & P604 Certification.
· Accompany delegates on site to undertake the Thorough Examination and Test of LEV Plant re attaining the P601 & P604 Certification.
· Field based LEV training/supervision to gain experience in testing LEV.
The CoSHH Regulations provide a starting point in they demand anyone involved in LEV activities should be “competent” (without actually defining the word “Competent”).
However, of significant importance to LEV specialists is an interesting legal difference in UK law where it considers “competence“.
And that is ……. the onus is on the professional to prove his or her “competence” rather than any accuser (eg HSE) having to prove that they are not Competent (called – the reversal of the “burden of proof” in law).
Recent HSE activities and declarations have shown that they are intent on addressing the level of competency in our industry.
Let there be no doubt – there is change afoot!
So! Now is the time to keep abreast of the Professional Development options and opportunities. If you would like to read more on this subject – see our News Post:-Professionalise to Survive
In the sections below we will try to summarise the various Professional Development options and the requirements to attain the various levels of recognition.
Please do provide feedback on your experiences with Professional Development and of other options which you might recommend.
BOHS has been at the forefront of initiating and developing LEV training qualifications for many years. They have a suite of “Proficiency” LEV courses which are listed in their P600 series.
These BOHS courses are probably recognised as the UK’s ‘standard’ for LEV related qualification in the UK.
In addition BOHS jointly with ILEVE (see below) promote the P604 training course. Delegates who complete P601, P602, P603 and P604 may then proceed to gaining ‘post nominal’ recognition by the award of Certificate in Operational Competence (Control) – also known as CoC(Control).
My personal view is that ‘in time’ the CoC(Control) qualification/award – or something like it – will become the ‘de facto’ standard required for those specialising in LEV.
SOE works to advance Operations Engineering and establishes and maintains standards of competence and conduct for those engaged in Operations Engineering.
For LEV specialists – the SOE has a sub-branch – the Institute of Plant Engineers (IPlantE).
Members can join as Associates of SOE/IPlantE on-line – Join SOE
Through the SOE members can be put forward to the Engineering Council for the awards of Eng Tech, IEng and CEng appropriate to their qualifications and expertise/experience.
Personally I have found the SOE to be very friendly, supportive and approachable. A great Institute to start your professional engineering route towards Eng Tech, IEng and CEng.
ILEVE was been established to promote air quality in the workplace and to reduce ill health and death due to airborne contamination and hazardous substances in the working environment.
It was set up to be the representative body for LEV specialists and its aim was to provide a focal point for LEV topics, professional development, career advancement and representation for the industry.
ILEVE has been set up under the umbrella of CIBSE (The Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers).
Following the initial excitement of ILEVE’s inauguration it has been a criticism that some of the ‘steam’ ran out of the Institute’s progress however ILEVE is now operating with a new invigorated Management Team who have set out their re-energised mission and aspirations.
Some of you will already know that we don’t stand around griping (well not all of the time) – so when we received a number of feedbacks about the lack of small print-run labels at reasonable cost – we rose to the challenge.