The Institute of Local Exhaust Ventilation Engineers (ILEVE) has sworn in its first female Chair Jane Bastow, five years since the Institute was founded in 2011.
Jane Bastow is a ventilation engineer with over 30 years’ experience, and Managing Director of P&J Dust Extraction Ltd. She is a founder member of ILEVE, and has been a Vice Chair of its Steering Committee for over four years.
Addressing the AGM in her first engagement as the new Chair, Jane thanked her predecessors for the work done in the last five years, but stressed that there is an enormous amount to be done in raising Local Exhaust Ventilation as a public health issue.
Noting the alarming numbers of health problems in the UK caused by poor ventilation in the workplace, Jane set out key areas that the ventilation industry must work on in order to increase its effectiveness and save lives. This includes a clearer career path for ventilating engineers, better cooperation with other engineering fields and a higher profile for the ventilation industry as a whole.
Jane Bastow, new ILEVE Chair, said: “It’s an honour to be made chair of this young but vital Institution, and to be the first women to head the lifesaving work we do. It is a great shame for this country that over 150 bus-loads of people die every year from industrial diseases in the 21st century, changing thousands of lives and costing the NHS £13bn overall.
“However, it is in our power to make a lasting dent in those numbers. By working with other institutions and other professions we can spread the message about the importance of proper ventilation as a critical health and safety issue. We’ll also need to talk to workers, to convince them that health and safety is vital and not boring.
“We have a growing Institute packed with the most talented professionals in their fields. What we need to do now is to demonstrate that expertise, and show people how a better qualified ventilation industry creates a healthier society.”
Also on the agenda at the ILEVE AGM was the Institute’s Competence Cards – cards issued to members as evidence of their qualifications in the field. A focus will be placed on helping engineers to meet the competency requirements in order to move the industry’s skills forward, and to spread knowledge about its expertise to other industries.