Jane Bastow has been sworn in as the new Chair of The Institute of Local Exhaust Ventilation Engineers (ILEVE), the first woman to hold the post.
A ventilation engineer with more than 30 years’ experience, Bastow is managing director of P&J Dust Extraction, and a founder member of ILEVE, having served as vice-chair of its steering committee for more than four years.
Addressing the AGM in her first engagement as chair, Bastow stressed that there is an enormous amount to be done in raising local exhaust ventilation as a public health issue. Noting the alarming number of health problems in the UK caused by poor ventilation in the workplace, she set out key areas that the industry must work on to increase its effectiveness and save lives. These includes a clearer career path for engineers, better cooperation with other engineering fields and a higher profile for the ventilation industry.
Bastow said: ‘More than 150 bus-loads of people in this country die every year from industrial diseases. It is in our power to make a lasting dent in those numbers. By working with other institutions and professions, we can spread the message about the importance of proper ventilation as a critical health and safety issue.
‘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.’