ASHRAE has released information to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as it relates to heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems.
February 27, 2020
In response to ongoing developments, ASHRAE has released proactive guidance to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns with respect to the operation and maintenance of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems.
Ph Water & Air Technologies advice is that maintaining a clean ventilation system is an essential part of a healthy building and necessary to comply with current legislation.
In today’s uncertain climate with the recent outbreak of Coronavirus – Covid – 19, it has never been more important that organisations with ventilation systems review current procedures for maintenance, inspections, testing and cleaning.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. Statutory Instrument No 1657, 1994 – This requires an employer to make a formal assessment of health risk from hazardous substances, which includes human pathogens, or any dusts present in substantial quantities in the air. Regulation 7 (1) requires the employer to prevent exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health, or where this is not practicable, to ensure that any exposure is adequately controlled.
Ph Water & Air Technologies Ltd are certified members of BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) and can undertake cleaning and disinfections of ventilation systems in accordance with BESA TR19 guidelines. We can also undertake ventilation hygiene assessments & monitor the quality of air within the built environment that will demonstrate to your staff that you take their Health & Safety and wellbeing seriously.
TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 – CONTACT WITH CONTAMINATED SURFACES
Some studies on other coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS, found they can survive on metal, glass and plastic for as long as 9 days, unless they are properly disinfected. Some can even hang around for up to 28 days in low temperatures.
Using PCR “the test method of choice in patients with suspected coronavirus infections” Ph Water & Air Technologies Ltd can now test for the virus. PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a DNA amplification technique that is routinely used in laboratories to turn tiny amounts of DNA into large enough quantities that they can be analysed. These tests are still the most reliable method of diagnosing a virus or viral infection.
This analysis could be carried out in conjunction with a building’s ventilation hygiene assessment or as a standalone investigative measure.
By using an air sampler, we can collect biological particles in the air which offer new perspectives for the control of airborne contamination. Alternatively, we can use environmental swab testing any surfaces which may play a role in onwards transmission of COVID-19.
This investigation poses no risk to participants, as no collection of biological specimens is involved. A negative result could provide some assurances to your employees or members of the public that the air and their working area was a virus free environment.
Where cases of coronavirus Covid-19 have been confirmed, it is recommended that any ventilation system is cleaned and sterilised as a preventative measure.
Whilst the situation is changing rapidly. As always government and NHS websites should be consulted for any rapidly developing changes to the situation.
On behalf of us all at ph Water & Air Technologies, we wish you, your families, and your businesses well during this challenging time.