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The Health and Safety Executive update guidance on air conditioning

The Health and Safety Executive updated guidance on air conditioning

The Health and Safety Executive has updated its guidance on air conditioning during COVID-19. The College has received a number of queries from members about this, especially during the recent hot weather. The HSE state that the risk of air conditioning spreading COVID-19 in the workplace is extremely low and they have now confirmed this includes portable units.

“You can continue using most types of air conditioning systems as normal. But, if you use a centralised ventilations system that removes and circulates air to different rooms it is recommended that you turn off recirculation and use a fresh air supply.  You do not need to adjust air conditioning systems that mix some of the extracted air with fresh air and return it to the room as this increases the fresh air ventilation rate. Also, you do not need to adjust systems in individual rooms or portable units as these operate on 100% recirculation.”

Good ventilation can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus so where possible open windows and in between treatments open doors to the treatment rooms.  You can also use ceiling and desk fans in non-clinical areas such as reception but they must not be used in clinical rooms as they are an infection control risk as they have been shown to aid the spread of bacteria such as MRSA.  Fans need to be cleaned on a regular basis.

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