OSHA reminds employers that having adequate ventilation throughout the workplace is essential to maintain a safe and healthy work environment.
Employers should work with a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professional to consider steps to improve and optimize building ventilation.
An HVAC professional can ensure your building’s ventilation system is operating efficiently and as the manufacturer intended.
Here are some tips OSHA recommends to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus:
- Encourage workers to stay home if sick
- Ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional, especially those shut down or operating at reduced capacity during the pandemic
- Remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from one worker to another
- Use HVAC system filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating of 13 or higher, where feasible
- Increase the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake
- Open windows or other sources of fresh air where possible
- Be sure exhaust air is not pulled back into the building from HVAC air intakes or open windows
- Consider using portable high-efficiency particulate air fan/filtration systems to increase clean air, especially in higher-risk areas
- When changing filters, wear appropriate personal protective equipment
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommends N95 respirators, eye protection—safety glasses, goggles, face shields—and disposable gloves.
Employers should ensure that exhaust fans in restrooms are fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on.
They should also encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.
Visit OSHA’s coronavirus website or call 800.321.OSHA for information or clarification.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery at 860.244.1982.