As you begin to prepare for a return to the workplace, it is recommended that you review your safety arrangements to ensure that they are still sufficient. Following changes to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) guidance this month, one element that you should consider is ventilation and air conditioning.
In brief, the HSE have outlined a need to assess your ventilation arrangements in the workplace, focussing on areas that may be populated by more than one employee, or areas with poor ventilation. It is advised that you make use of carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors to identify these areas.
Fresh air through an open window or vent remains the safest option, however where this isn’t possible, you should ensure that any air conditioning systems are providing fresh air and have been regularly maintained by a competent person. If your air conditioning system uses recirculating air, it should only be used if there is a good supply of natural fresh air nearby from open windows or doors. There should also be no use of desk or ceiling fans in any poorly ventilated areas.
Once you have assessed the risks associated with ventilation in your workplace, any findings and outcomes should be communicated to your employees, as this helps to instil confidence in your approach and demonstrate a commitment to their safety.
You can access the HSE’s full guide on ventilation and air conditioning here.
Our team can assist you with creating or reviewing Covid-19 risk assessments, ensuring that you remain up to date on any changes in legislation and best practice.