The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an alert for employers about how to help safeguard workplaces against the spread of Covid 19 by improving ventilation.
Ensuring adequate ventilation exists throughout the work environment can help protect your employees, according to the federal agency.
To maintain a safe and healthy workplace, OSHA recommends the following steps:
- 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 (MERV) rating of 13 or higher, where feasible.
- Boost the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake. Open windows or other sources of fresh air.
- 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 (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to increase clean air, especially in higher-risk areas.
- When changing filters, wear personal protective equipment. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers lists N95 respirators, eye protection (safety glasses, goggles or face shields), and disposable gloves.
- Make sure exhaust fans in restrooms are fully functional, operating at maximum capacity and are set to remain on.