Category: Blog

The woodworking sector, comprised of professions that include carpenters, cabinet makers, craft woodworking artists and many more, plays an important role in our society. If you work in this industry, there are a host of potential health risks that stem from exposure to hazardous airborne substances. These include rare forms of nasal cancer, as well as asthma which impacts thousands of woodworkers each year.

In 2022/23, the HSE carried out more than 1,000 woodworking inspections and found that 78% of businesses were not compliant in protecting workers from hazardous airborne substances.

To reduce risk, regulatory authorities have established specific regulations concerning Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems to protect the well-being of woodworkers and ensure a safe working environment.

These systems play a crucial role in controlling and removing hazardous substances generated during woodworking activities, as outlined in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.

This article explores the importance COSHH plays for woodworkers and highlights essential measures to help you make sure your workplace is a safe and compliant one.


LEV Regulations for Woodworkers

In the woodworking sector, COSHH places legal obligations on employers to implement and maintain effective LEV systems. However,  if this is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risk of exposure of hazardous substances for your team.

There are a whole host of hazardous substances that can impact the long-term health and well-being of woodworkers, with just some of these including:

  • Hardwood and softwood dust
  • Dust from plywood, timber, laminates, hardboard
  • Adhesives, paints, varnishes, stripping fluids, stains
  • Lubricants
  • Disinfectants to treat water systems

All of these substances can cause long-term harm to workers.

Woodworking processes, such as sawing, sanding, and shaping wood, can release fine wood dust particles into the air. Inhalation of these particles over time can lead to respiratory problems and other health complications. Woodworkers and carpenters are four times more likely to develop asthma as a result of their workplace than any other profession in the UK.

This is why properly designed LEV systems are crucial when keeping people safe. Woodworking dust extraction systems are designed to capture and remove dust, fumes, and other airborne contaminants at the source, mitigating the risk of inhalation and long-term health issues.

To ensure your team are healthy and safe, it’s important to make sure your woodworking business is working in compliance with COSHH and has LEV systems implemented where necessary.


How you can stay compliant

The HSE has identified several key points to help businesses keep their people safe and site compliant with COSHH. These include:

  • Choosing effective and reliable control measures to implement alongside your local exhaust ventilation system
  • Ensuring these measures are used properly by instructing, providing training, and supervising your people at work
  • Regularly checking and reviewing your control measures to make sure they’re still working effectively

Workplace Exposure Limit

Where substances have been classified as carcinogens, mutagens, or asthmagens – like wood dust – to make sure your site is fully compliant with COSHH, exposure must be controlled to as low as is reasonably practicable (ALARP).

This is why workplace exposure limits (WELs) were created. Used as exposure limits and approved by the HSE, they help to protect workers’ health. For more information on these, click here.


Benefits of a Compliant LEV System:

By working with the BES Group, we can help to:

  • Reduce risk and create a safer workplace for you and your team
  • Promote a sustainable and productive industry
  • Reduce equipment downtime
  • Ensure legal compliance
  • Reduce staff sickness
  • Enhance overall productivity

However, aside from the benefits, having a well-maintained LEV system isn’t just a nice to have – it’s your legal responsibility. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations place strict duties on employers when it comes to worker safety, and the penalties for being found in breach can range from unlimited fines to imprisonment.


The BES Group Solution

Woodworkers are crucial to the UK trade industry, which is why the importance of health and safety in the workplace shouldn’t be taken for granted. By working with experts in COSHH and LEV systems, like Vulcan Inspection Services, we can help to ensure the long-term well-being of you and your employees.

We’re proud to be a UKAS-accredited provider of LEV inspections. Each of our 500 engineer surveyors is qualified to the highest industry standards, including the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) qualification. This means they’re well-equipped to support you and your business with your site requirements, keeping you in line with COSHH, and making sure your LEV systems are robust, operational, and compliant to help keep your workers safe.

Get in touch with a member of the team today to discuss your requirements, by filling out our form below.

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Category: Blog

Category: Blog

At Vulcan Inspection Services, we’re committed to keeping breweries brewing with the very best inspection services, making sure that our customers’ critical machinery is legally compliant, operational, and, most importantly, safe for their people to use.   


We work closely with NFU Mutual to understand how we can assist craft brewers in keeping their machinery and plant compliant, and from inspecting second-hand distillery equipment to carrying out Prior-to-Purchase exams, we put our customers and their equipment first, always.   

This is why we’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to sponsor We Are Beer this year once again, with the exciting addition that we’re also sponsoring their Raise the Bar competition too! This means that we’ll be able to meet even more people from across the UK to spread the word about the importance of breweries and distilleries keeping up to date with the relevant regulations and inspections to stay safe.   

Our team had a fantastic time at their first event of the year on Friday the 16th of June, and enjoyed having the chance to speak to brewers and distillers from across the nation about their machinery, equipment, and the regulations that affect them.   

Melissa Boyes, Account Director at Vulcan Inspection Services with years of experience in working alongside NFU Mutual to support craft breweries in the UK, attended the event with members of the NFU Mutual team.   

During the event, Melissa was able to put her expert knowledge to the test when she was asked to sit on the tasting panel for the Raise the Bar competition, where the best up-and-coming brewers in the country competed for the chance to come and share their beer at each of the Bristol, Manchester, and London festivals.  

Afterwards, she had a brilliant time meeting with the winners and asking them some questions about what this event meant to them.   

Melissa said, “It’s been a fantastic few weeks sitting as a judge on the tasting panel and then having the opportunity to meet the winners at the Bristol Craft Beer Festival. We work closely with NFU Mutual to understand how we can assist craft brewers in keeping their plant and machinery compliant, and this event provided an excellent opportunity to meet them for the first time.”  

The recent festival in Bristol was just the start of this year’s line-up, and we’re looking forward to meeting even more brewers and attendees at We Are Beer’s Manchester event on the 21st and 22nd of July, and their London Craft Festival on the 11th and 12th of August. Come and join us in discussing your requirements, and of course sampling beers from some of the best up-and-coming breweries in the UK, by registering here.

Have you recently purchased second-hand brewing or distillery equipment? Or perhaps you just want to make sure your farming equipment is safe and compliant with the regulations that affect you? No matter what, Vulcan Inspection Services are here for you.  

Get in touch with one of our experts today, who will be more than happy to discuss your requirements and our solutions with you, by filling out the form below. 




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Category: Blog

Category: Blog

Valentine’s Day brings with it a flurry of people dining at their favourite café or lavish restaurants to celebrate love, with no expectation of things going awry. But, when things go wrong with machinery and equipment relied on for the smooth running of even the very best places to eat, they can really go wrong.

You could be a restaurant owner busy serving couples out for a candle-lit Valentine’s dinner when suddenly… the passenger lift is not up to date with its statutory inspections and malfunctions with two of your staff inside, leaving you with no one to help take food orders. As the lift is being used by your employees while at work, it falls under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998(LOLER), and it’s your duty, as the workplace owner, to stay up to date with regularly scheduled inspections.

You could be running your independent café during a busy lunchtime rush on Valentine’s Day when… the café steam boiler behind the bar explodes, propelling the boiler itself into the seating area. As the dedicated site manager, you would be liable for the cost of damage incurred, an unlimited fine from HSE, and could even be subject to any legal proceedings if anyone was injured.

No matter what, Vulcan Inspection Services are here to make sure you and your business are compliant with all the regulations relevant to you and your people are safe.

The Food and Drink Industry

The food and drink sector is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, forming part of a diverse and complex supply chain. Whether you own a microbrewery or a thriving bakery with increasing orders as Valentine’s Day approaches, you need to comply with the relevant legislation if you own or operate lifting equipment or accessories. Simple.


The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR) is set in place to prevent significant injury from the hazard of stored energy if a pressure system were to fail, by working to prevent a failure from happening in the first place. What’s more, PSSR requires pressure systems to be inspected following a Written Scheme of Examination by a competent and impartial person – and that’s where we come in. We’re both impartial and competent, and we really know our stuff, simple. For more info on our PSSR services, click here.

Taking risks when it comes to the safety of your pressure systems is no joke. When any Pressurised asset malfunctions, you’re not just putting your business and livelihood at risk, but the lives of you and your people. When a pressure boiler explodes, it can send extreme heat, shock waves, and debris flying with enormous force. In fact, if you continue to operate your café steam boiler without the necessary inspection process, you will be in direct contravention of the Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR), which will invalidate any insurance claims made in relation to any incident with the machine.

Just some of the food and drink sector equipment that falls under PSSR include:


  • Boilers and steam heating systems
  • Pressurised process plant and piping
  • Compressed air systems
  • Pressure cookers, autoclaves, and retorts
  • Heat exchangers and refrigeration plant
  • Valves, steam traps and filters
  • Pipework and hoses
  • Pressure gauges and level indicators

What’s more, hot water boilers operating at more than 110°C fall within PSSR, although it is recommended that all hot water boilers be regularly inspected. Refrigeration and air conditioning plants with combined compressor motors exceeding 25kW are also covered by these regulations, but it is important that items below this cut-off are inspected frequently too.

Café boilers, in particular, should be thoroughly maintained by a competent team. Any faults can quickly escalate and cause injury, as with the 2010 Supermarket incident, where a boiler exploded and landed in the café seating area, injuring multiple people. With that, here are some of the most common causes of faults found in café steam boilers:

Unsafe system of work for the operation of the equipment

An unsafe system of work can lead to a whole host of faults and accidents down the line, which is why it’s so important that there’s a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) in place before the machine is brought into use. This helps to both reduce the risk of faults and, most importantly, makes working with the equipment safer for all involved.

Poor maintenance of equipment

Poor maintenance of a café steam boiler can eventually lead to it failing, which can then seriously injure, and even be fatal, to anyone close by when it does.

All of these issues can be prevented with competent installation and maintenance practices, which is what we’re here for.


LOLER play a vital role in keeping the food and drink sector producing and the people who work within it, safe. They apply to lifting equipment across all industries, covering any work equipment which lifts or lowers a load. This includes attachments used for anchoring, in addition to any chain, rope, sling or component used to attach loads to machinery for lifting or lowering purposes. For more info on what LOLER is and how it applies to you, click here.

In the food and drink manufacturing industry, LOLER plays a huge role in keeping critical machines safe to use, and just some of the equipment used within this sector covered by LOLER includes:

  • Telescopic handler
  • Forklift truck and accessories
  • Pallet truck
  • Passenger and/or goods lift
  • Fore end loader

Almost 10,000 people a year have to visit A&E due to accidents involving lifts and other lifting equipment. Knowing the risks can help reduce them and keep people safe – and that’s what Vulcan Inspection Services are here for.

There’s a variety of things that can go wrong when it comes to lifts, including:

Worn Sheaves

When the sheaves in an elevator shaft wear down, they place extra wear on the ropes, which then leads to more wear on the sheaves. This cycle quickly wears down both completely.

Power Failure

Elevators in commercial settings require a large amount of power from the utility systems, and any updates on the system’s voltage can affect motor operations, potentially damaging the elevator system and leading to faults.


Another issue found in lifts is contamination, which can be caused by things like improper lubrication, worn seals, and the deterioration of elevator parts. When this happens, particles can break off and be released into the oil, causing problems with the functioning of the lift.

When it comes to lifting equipment, we’re proud to say that we really know our stuff.

The Reason We Do What We Do Is to Keep People Safe, Simple

This Valentine’s Day don’t take risks when it comes to safety. The Vulcan Inspection Services are the experts, so you don’t have to be. Our whole mission is to help you, your business, and your workers, stay compliant with all of the regulations that impact you and, above all else, stay safe each and every day. We take your risk seriously, with no compromise.  It works for us and we know it will work for you too.

To learn more about how Vulcan Inspection Services can make sure your equipment is kept safe to use, simply email or call 01789 455 322

Category: Blog

Find out more about how we can support small farms by reading our quick blog

Category: Blog

Don't take a chance when it comes to your cafe steam boiler inspections.  Read our short document for more information.

Category: Blog