Good air ventilation is an important component of an employer’s overall strategy to reduce Covid-19 in the workplace. The vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs indoors, most of it from the inhalation of airborne particles that contain the coronavirus.
The Covid-19 virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe heavily. These liquid particles are of different sizes, ranging from larger ‘respiratory droplets’ to smaller aerosols’.
The virus can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, hence the guidance to socially distance and wash hands regularly. The best way to prevent the virus from spreading in a commercial environment is to keep infected people away. But this is hard to do when an estimated 40% of cases are asymptomatic and asymptomatic people can still spread the coronavirus to others. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch. Spreading the virus through droplets is most likely to happen when you are less than 2m apart. Aerosols are much smaller than droplets and can travel further and remain suspended in the air for longer, particularly in poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
Quality indoor air is key for the returning workforces. Ensuring multi-occupant workplaces where individuals are in the same room/space together for an extended period of time are well ventilated to help prevent the build-up of the virus and reduce the risk of transmission. Once the virus escapes into the air inside a building, you have two options: bring in fresh air from outside or remove the virus from the air inside the building.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 require all employers to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air and this has not changed. Read the full extract
How does clean air reduce the spread of coronavirus?
The safest indoor space is one that constantly has lots of outside air replacing the stale air inside.
In commercial buildings, outside air is usually pumped in through heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. In homes, outside air gets in through open windows and doors, in addition to seeping in through various nooks and crannies.
Simply put, the more fresh, outside air inside a building, the better. Bringing in this air dilutes any contaminant in a building, whether a virus or a something else, and reduces the exposure of anyone inside. Environmental engineers quantify how much outside air is getting into a building using a measure called the air exchange rate. This number quantifies the number of times the air inside a building gets replaced with air from outside in an hour.
While the exact rate depends on the number of people and size of the room, most experts consider roughly six air changes an hour to be good for a 10-foot-by-10-foot room with three to four people in it. In a pandemic this should be higher, with one study from 2016 suggesting that an exchange rate of nine times per hour reduced the spread of SARS, MERS and H1N1 in a Hong Kong hospital.
Many buildings in the UK and Ireland, do not meet recommended ventilation rates. Thankfully, it is realatively easy to get more outside air into a building. Keeping windows and doors open is a good start, unfortunately this isnt always pleasant in a country with a climate such as ours. In buildings that don’t have operable windows, you can change the mechanical ventilation system to increase how much air it is pumping. But in any room, the more people inside, the faster the air should be replaced.
Can air ventilation help against Covid-19 ?
If you are in a room that can’t get enough outside air for dilution air purifiers can offer a real solution. These machines remove particles from the air, usually using a filter made of tightly woven fibres. They can capture particles containing bacteria and viruses and can help reduce disease transmission.
The HSE advocates the use of air purification systems, an extract reads
“You can use local air cleaning and filtration units to reduce airborne transmission of aerosols where it is not possible to maintain adequate ventilation.
If you decide to use an air cleaning unit, the most suitable types to use are:
- high-efficiency filters
- ultraviolet-based devices.
Any unit should be appropriate for the size of the area they’re used in to ensure they work in the way they are intended to.”
The first thing to consider is how effective an air cleaner’s filter is. Your best option is a cleaner that uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, as these remove more than 99.97% of all particle sizes.
The second thing to consider is how powerful the cleaner is. The bigger the room – or the more people in it – the more air needs to be cleaned.
Prepare to Protect your returning workforce
OZO Sanitized works with companies to create a ‘back to work’ blueprint to give businesses tangible guidance on how to safely return staff to the office. Through the use of technology, our OZO product range can facilitate clean air and sterile surfaces.
Employee safety and wellbeing is at the forefront of businesses now. Our virus neutralising and air filtration systems ensure the removal of viruses, bacteria in air and surfaces. We know companies pride themselves on staff wellbeing and this is a key consideration for their businesses.
Our virus neutralising and air filtration technologies ensure staff members can occupy a meeting room and discuss ideas and strategise safely. With our UVC technology, we can filter and clean the air up to 10 times in an hour. Virus is actively removed and destroyed continually.
OZO Sanitized consult with businesses to explore what practical steps can be taken through technology to uphold sanitised sterile spaces.
Our consultation team work to understand room sizes, room heights and how air filtration systems and ozone generation can safeguard their staff and customers. Our virus neutralising machines confidently boast the decontamination of indoor air from viruses, bacteria, mould and most impressively COVID-19.
These air filtration systems boast:
- Support new ways of working in response to COVID-19 providing the ultimate duty of care for supplying clean sterile air in the workplace
- The OZO Pure and OZO Duo virus neutralising technology gives a 99.9999% virus kill rate.
- Our range of air sterilisation units offer combined air purification and sterilisation through HEPA 13 filter and then the UVC lamps
- Controlled airflow and improved air ventilation in the workspace – The OZO Pure and OZO Duo can take the danger away from the breathing in virus and replaces it with clean air.
Our Air Filtration Machines
The OZO Air Purification machines are highly specified medical-grade high-performance air purification systems.
The OZO Duo model is a great choice for installing in large rooms, communal areas, hospital wards, offices, hotel lobbies, waiting rooms, restaurants, commercial spaces, childcare facilities, government buildings and leisure facilities.
The OZO Pure is the ideal unit for smaller commercial spaces such as medical and dental surgeries, offices, care homes, classrooms, government buildings, single patient rooms, waiting rooms, care facilities, leisure facilities etc.
The air steriliser units remove dangerous pollutants from the environment including Volatile Organic Compounds, formaldehydes, benzene, nitrogen dioxide, mould spores, smoke and particulate matter, and much more.
The OZO air purification units USPs include its ability to kill harmful bacteria and viruses in the first pass, self health monitoring technology, low running costs and a simple ‘plug and play’ setup. The OZO units are premium in that they sterilise the surrounding environment 10 times per hour to give users reassurance that they are operating in the safest, cleanest environment.
Universities across the globe are working to understand the technologies that eliminate viruses and most importantly coronavirus. Recent studies carried out by Dr Andrew Buchan from Queen Mary University of London and Dr Kirk Atkinson from Ontario Tech University in Canada highlights the effectiveness of UVC light at sterilising air and removing virus in the air.