The understanding of how COVID-19 spreads has developed since its first outbreak, and the importance of airborne transmission is now accepted.
As such, there is an increased focus on ventilation. Carbon dioxide can be used to indicate poorly ventilated areas. This has always been a focus of occupational hygiene assessments for ventilation and indoor air quality, but now the stakes have been raised.
Businesses can carry out their own risk assessments, or seek help from professionals in the field. The priority is to identify areas of your workplace that are occupied and are poorly ventilated.
These are the areas you should focus on improving, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
There are some simple ways to identify poorly ventilated spaces:
- Look for areas where people work and where there is no mechanical ventilation, such as air conditioning systems, or no natural ventilation, such as open windows, doors, or vents.
- Check that mechanical systems introduce plenty of outdoor air and have temperature control. If a system only recirculates air and has no outdoor air supply, the area is likely to be poorly ventilated.
- Identify areas that feel stuffy or smell bad.
- Use carbon dioxide monitors – people exhale carbon dioxide when they breathe out. If there is a build-up of carbon dioxide in an area it can indicate that ventilation needs improving.
Although cartoon dioxide levels are not a direct measure of possible exposure to COVID-19, checking levels using a monitor can help you identify poorly ventilated areas.
Contact us if you require help with your assessment. We can help you with simple or more complex assessments.