Coronavirus: Ventilation and air conditioning in the workplace
Good ventilation is one of the key controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Used along with social distancing, good hygiene and the use of face coverings where appropriate good ventilation can significantly reduce the risks to individuals and the business.
The law says employers must make sure there’s an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace. This has not changed during the pandemic.
You can do this by using:
- natural ventilation - fresh air comes in through open windows, doors or air vents. This is also known as ‘passive airflow’, or
- mechanical ventilation - fans and ducts bring in fresh air from outside
Ventilation isn’t the only way of making sure you’re working safely to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the workplace. You should also make sure workers are keeping the workplace clean and washing their hands frequently. You can also identify other control measures by your risk assessment.
This guidance will help you and your workers:
- identify poorly ventilated areas
- assess the risk from breathing in small particles of the virus (aerosol transmission) in enclosed areas
- decide on the steps you can take to improve ventilation