BUILDINGS CAN KEEP US HEALTHY OR MAKE US SICK!
As an employer or person in control, the purity of your facility’s inside air is critical to protecting your occupants and your operations from harm.
Institutions and regulators worldwide agree with the overwhelming body of scientific evidence that COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory transmission when others inhale micro-droplets and larger droplets that an infected person exhales into the air. This is an airborne disease.
While many organisations will have adapted to the measures made mandatory by the government, such as the use of face coverings, regular cleaning and social distancing, businesses can take the essential additional steps to significantly reduce the risk of transmission and causing harm to occupants on their premises or transport modes by deploying adequate ventilation and air cleaning. However, it’s also the law. If you do not comply, you are at risk of potential enforcement, prosecution or claims for personal injury.
As an Employer or Person in Control, you’ll know that it is a legal obligation to do whatever is reasonably practicable to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers and other people who might be affected by your business; meaning that risks to injury or health must be effectively controlled. However, many are not aware of how important it is now against Covid-19 to ensure suitable distribution and flows of ventilation with clean air, free of impurities that are likely to cause ill health. This includes other microbes such as fungal spores, bacteria and viruses. Occupants rely on clean air to breathe safely.
To contemplate airborne hazards, you should know that viral hazards are never static. The hazard that you’re attempting to mitigate today may be different to that emerging tomorrow. So, you need to intervene with longer-term solutions that may well need to go beyond typical current government guidelines, depending upon your risk, environment and nature of your operations. The solutions we offer, however, are all pathogen and variant agnostic. We help you create a pandemic resilient environment.
We, as many respected Institutions and scientists, advocate increased quantities of uncontaminated filtered air being drawn into inside spaces and distributed adequately. We recommend that room air be changed at a rate of 6ACH, i.e., 6No. Clean air changes per hour (depending on the spatial configuration, risk, and viral load). Importantly, these engineering improvements should be coupled with germicidal UVC disinfection systems to inactivate all common pathogens, including coronavirus, or using Medical Grade HEPA Filters, to make your interior spaces safer, and clearly to do all that is reasonably practicable to protect people’s health, safety and welfare at your facilities.
The UK Regulator, The HSE’s Requirements: Making your Workplace COVID-Secure during the coronavirus pandemic:
Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The law requires employers to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace and this has not changed during the pandemic.
Air cleaning and filtration units
Local air cleaning and filtration units can be used to reduce airborne transmission where it isn’t possible to maintain adequate ventilation. Filtration systems, high-efficiency filters and ultraviolet-based devices are the most suitable types to use. They should be the correct size for the area they are being used in.
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974:
It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.
This means making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues.
6.—(1) Effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air. ( The ACOP goes further and states air shall, “be free of any impurity which is likely to be offensive or cause ill health”)
Comment: This means that air filtration alone is insufficient and for non-chemical intervention, UV-C is needed to destroy airborne viruses which can be as small as 0.06 microns for SARS2
The Building Regulations – Part F : Ventilation (amendment out to consultation)
” … buildings should have the ability to provide adequate outdoor air to all occupied spaces without recirculating air within spaces or between different spaces, rooms or zones, unless the ventilation system has an ultraviolet filter, HEPA filter or other germicidal filter.”