A new fact sheet on Improving ventilation in indoor workplaces – COVID-19 has been developed by Safe Work Australia.
The fact sheet highlights three steps that will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and improve ventilation in indoor settings:
- Ensure the HVAC system is working properly
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are an essential safety measure for most buildings. It is important they are maintained in accordance with relevant regulations to ensure compliance and effectiveness.
- Take steps to improve ventilation for indoor workplaces
SafeWork recommends considering adjusting the settings of your HVAC system to help minimise the risk of COVID-19. This includes not recirculating the air or limiting the level of recirculation.
- Other things you can do
Crowded and noisy places have a higher risk of generating and spreading respiratory droplets.
To improve effective ventilation on a per person basis, SafeWork recommends, where possible:
- Look at your workplace floorplan and adjust workstations to maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres between workers;
- Stagger your workers’ start, finish and break times;
- Relocate work tasks to different areas of the workplace, off-site or support workers to work from home; or
- Provide teams their own dedicated meal areas or break facilities.
Some industries have specific directions that should be followed so it is important to understand what you need to do at your workplace. Visit SafeWork’s COVID-19 information for workplaces webpage for information for your industry.
Please read SafeWork’s fact sheet for more information on improving ventilation in indoor settings to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.