With such an extraordinary array of responsibilities and priorities to attend to, it is hardly surprising that LEV installations aren’t always at the forefront of the mind of the average business owner. Which is precisely why things like LEV testing requirements often go overlooked entirely, or at least sidelined as something that can be taken care of when everything else of importance has been addressed.
The fact that ventilation and extraction systems do their job somewhat invisibly does indeed make them relatively easy to overlook – at least, with regard to their importance. But at the same time, it’s hardly a secret that being proactive when it comes to air quality and working conditions in general really should be a priority for any business owner. Nevertheless, it’s surprisingly commonplace for business owners to completely overlook their own ventilation and extraction systems, until things hit crisis point.
And when they do, the consequences can be rather severe.
As is the case with so many things, prevention makes far more sense than attempting to deal with the aftermath. So just to put the subject into some kind of perspective, exactly what kinds of consequences can be expected by those who routinely and consistently overlook the quality and condition of their own ventilation and extraction systems?
1 – Increased Operational Costs
Well, first of all there is the way in which sub-par systems and those in desperate need of maintenance have the potential to cost an absolute fortune to run. Given the fact that these are the kinds of systems that are usually left in operation on a relatively constant basis, they really do have the potential to consume an enormous amount of electricity. This counts double in the case of a system which for whatever the reason isn’t able to do its job properly. So while overlooking essential repairs and maintenance may feel like saving cash at the time, on-going operational expenses will no doubt augment any such savings many times over.
2 – More Frequent Repairs
Also on the subject of savings, there comes a time when continually patching up an extraction or a ventilation system that is on its last legs becomes a little like banging your head against a brick wall. You keep pouring money into it, only for it to thank you by once again requiring costly repairs in no time it all. In such instances, it can be exponentially more convenient and cost-effective to consider going about a full scale overhaul or upgrade of the entire system. It may be a relatively expensive undertaking at the time, but it could breed significant long-term savings.
3 – Working Environment Impact
As touched upon a little earlier, the fact that ventilation and extraction systems have a direct impact on the quality of the overall working environment pretty much encapsulates their importance. When a workplace is uncomfortable, unpleasant or in any way less than ideal, it is impossible to expect the workforce to perform to its maximum potential. Not only this, but poor air quality and inadequate climate control can both significantly elevate the risk of widespread employee illness and general lack of morale. Suffice to say, neither of these things bodes particularly well for productivity and output.
4 – On-going Risk
Industrial extraction and ventilation systems exist for health and safety purposes, though can in their own right constitute severe risks when allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Poorly functioning units can present rather worrying fire hazards, not to mention posing a direct risk to the quality and safety of the air within the workplace. Risk management represents a fundamentally critical consideration at the heart of every business, which is why these kinds of avoidable risks really must be addressed without exception.
5 – Legal Problems
Last but not least, it is important to remember that it is the legal responsibility of every employer across the United Kingdom to provide a safe and healthy working environment for every single member of the workforce. Frequent LEV inspection and testing is specifically mentioned as a legal requirement, there is no alternative method for ensuring that all such systems are doing their job appropriately. There have been so many examples over recent years of businesses that have been taken to court for health and safety violations attributed to inadequate, or in some cases entirely absent ventilation and extraction systems. It is a consideration that every responsible business really must take seriously as the consequences of failing to do so could be dire.