A complete guide to the HSE’s HSG258 LEV guidence

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1st November 2023

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HSG258 LEV guidence explained

Ensuring a safe and healthy work environment is a shared responsibility between employers, employees, and regulatory bodies. In the United Kingdom, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) plays a pivotal role in providing essential guidance to facilitate workplace safety. One key document that stands at the forefront of controlling airborne contaminants is the HSG258, a comprehensive guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems and equipment. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the specifics of HSE’s HSG258 guidance concerning LEV equipment, uncovering its importance and the measures it recommends for creating safer workspaces.

Understanding HSG258’s LEV Equipment Guidance:

  1. Scope and Purpose:
    • HSG258 provides targeted guidance on LEV equipment, aiming to assist employers and duty holders in effectively controlling exposure to hazardous substances.
    • It encompasses a wide range of equipment used in Local Exhaust Ventilation systems, offering detailed insights into their design, installation, commissioning, testing, and maintenance.
  2. Key Components:
    • The guidance covers various aspects of LEV equipment, including principles of LEV design, hood and enclosure design, capture velocity, and specific considerations for different processes and applications.

Principles of LEV Design:

  1. Hierarchy of Control Measures:
    • HSG258 reinforces the hierarchy of control measures, advocating for the use of LEV equipment as a primary method to control exposure to hazardous substances.
    • It emphasizes capturing contaminants at the source and the significance of well-designed equipment.
  2. Hood and Enclosure Design:
    • The guidance provides detailed information on designing effective hoods and enclosures, focusing on capturing contaminants efficiently.
    • Factors such as hood shape, size, and placement are addressed to optimize the performance of LEV equipment.
  3. Capture Velocity:
    • HSG258 introduces the concept of capture velocity, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a sufficient airflow to capture and control airborne contaminants effectively.
    • It provides guidance on calculating and maintaining appropriate capture velocities based on the specific application.

Specific Considerations for LEV Equipment:

  1. Processes and Applications:
    • The guidance acknowledges the diversity of processes and applications across industries and provides tailored recommendations for different scenarios.
    • Specific considerations are outlined for processes involving dust, fumes, mist, and other airborne contaminants.

Implementing HSG258 Guidance for LEV Equipment:

  1. Design and Installation:
    • Engage qualified professionals for the design and installation of LEV equipment, ensuring compliance with HSG258 recommendations.
    • Consider the specific requirements of the process or application to tailor the equipment design accordingly.
  2. Commissioning:
    • Follow the outlined steps for commissioning LEV equipment, including performance testing and adjustments to meet required standards.
    • Verify that the equipment effectively captures and controls contaminants at the source.
  3. Testing and Maintenance:
    • Establish a regular testing and maintenance schedule for LEV equipment, aligning with HSG258 guidelines.
    • Conduct routine inspections, measurements, and adjustments to ensure continued effectiveness.
  4. Training:
    • Provide training to employees on the proper use of LEV equipment and the importance of adhering to safety protocols.
    • Emphasize the role of employees in reporting any malfunctions or concerns related to the equipment.
  5. Record-Keeping:
    • Maintain comprehensive records throughout the lifecycle of LEV equipment, including design specifications, commissioning reports, maintenance records, and testing documentation.


HSE’s HSG258 guidance on LEV equipment is a valuable resource for organizations committed to prioritizing workplace safety. By understanding and implementing the principles outlined in the guidance, employers can create environments that effectively control exposure to hazardous substances, protecting the health and well-being of their workforce. Regular testing, maintenance, and adherence to best practices in LEV equipment use form the cornerstone of a robust safety culture, ensuring a safer and healthier workplace for all.


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