Good ventilation can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace

The Health and Safety Executive has updated its ventilation advice on keeping workplaces safe by issuing revised guidance to help companies reduce the risk from aerosol transmission and the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace

As many companies start bringing employees back into their pre-pandemic work-spaces the revised guidance clearly communicates the controls employers need to consider for:

  • Identifying poorly ventilated areas and use CO2 monitors
  • Assessment of fresh air (ventilation)
  • Improving natural ventilation
  • How to improve mechanical ventilation
  • Balancing ventilation with keeping workplace temperatures comfortable
  • Air cleaning and air filters
  • Ventilation in vehicles

The law says employers must make sure there is an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace; this advice has not changed during the pandemic and can be achieved through:

  • natural ventilation (open windows, doors or air vents)
  • mechanical ventilation – systems which bring in fresh air from outside

Whilst ventilation isn’t the only way of making sure your employees work in a safe environment the new guidance provides detail on how companies can:

  • identify poorly ventilated areas
  • decide on the steps to take to improve ventilation
  • assess the risk from breathing in small particles of the virus (aerosol transmission) in enclosed areas

Contact if you need help with

  • Assessing your current ventilation provision
  • Formulating your risk control programme to improve and manage ventilation in the workplace

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