When Welding, Should LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation) be used?

When welding, LEV (local exhaust ventilation) should be used in 99% of industrial processes. There are a number of factors to consider when considering what LEV to choose. The main factors to consider are: What process do you use? Where are you welding and cutting (indoor, outdoor, confined or restricted space)? What filler wire/ consumables you are using? And; Are you welding or cutting through any coatings, plating or contamination?

The HSE state that LEV should be used when:

  • Moderate to high volume MIG/MAG production welding, small or medium-sized parts, welding on a bench; or in a screened off area. Welding on carbon mild steels and aluminium;
  • High volume production welding using TIG on stainless steels or aluminium;
  • Welding of stainless steels for stick welding, using MIG, MAG, Flux cored or MMA;
  • Arc air gouging;
  • Welding or hot cutting galvanised materials (e.g. zinc plated);
  • Welding or hot cutting materials containing cadmium, painted with lead or chromate paints
  • Automated cutting of flame or plasma requires LEV extraction, but this is usually built-in
  • Automated multi-head resistance welding machines.

You can find out more about when the HSE advise the use of a comprehensive LEV extraction system by clicking here.


The HSE advised in their recent ‘Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume’update that: “Regardless of duration, HSE will no longer accept any welding undertaken without any suitable exposure control measures in place, as there is no known level of safe exposure.”


Auto Extract Systems Ltd can assist your business with a LEV system that will safely remove welding fumes from the working environment and help your business become HSE compliant. Our services include the design, installation, maintenance and certification of bespoke LEV systems that will be specified to meet the latest HSE COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) 2002 regulations. Browse our most effective welding LEV solutions by simply clicking here.


Get in touch today to arrange a free site survey and quotation, click here. Contact us via email, or call us today for a no-obligation discussion on +(0)1942 267444; in addition, keep in touch with us on our social media channels: FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for updates.

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