Air Quality Testing and Monitoring
What does air hygiene mean?
Air hygiene is an important part of health and safety standards at work. All employers have a duty of care to ensure that their staff, visitors and customers breathe hygienic air that is free from contaminants. Regulation 6 of the 1992 Workplace Health and Safety and Welfare Regulations makes it a legal requirement to provide workers with clean air.
The Health and Safety Act states that ‘mechanical ventilation duct systems should be regularly and adequately cleaned, tested and maintained, to ensure they are free from contaminants.’
Why is air hygiene important?
In the UK, we spend an average of 80% of our time indoors, so the quality of the air we breathe is very important. Lots of equipment can have an impact on the quality of air in a room. For example, even office printers can add pollutants to the air.
Indoor air quality monitoring is essential. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more key to ensure you maintain good air hygiene because both COVID-19 and normal flu are airborne viruses that can be transmitted through the air.
Regular disinfection of the air within a building can help to prevent a virus spreading around an organisation by killing pathogens in the air and in ventilation ductwork.
How does air quality affect employees?
Poor air hygiene and low air quality in a building can lead to employees falling unwell unnecessarily. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a real condition that can be brought on by extremes of air quality and temperatures. Employees can suffer from headaches and end up taking sick days to recover.
Poor air hygiene can cost your business time and money, as well as implying a lack of concern for the health and well-being of your employees.
Maintaining good air hygiene can help reduce the spread of illness in your building, and ultimately reduce staff sick days. If you are concerned about the air hygiene within your building, or staff have raised an issue with the humidity or temperature of their work space, please talk to one of our experts.
How do you monitor the quality of air?
In order to monitor the quality of air, it’s essential to carry out regular testing. Usually, air quality will be tested yearly. When air testing is carried out, the levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide will be measured, as well as the humidity, temperature, and dust particles in the air. Once measured, these levels will be compared to acceptable standards.
How can air hygiene be improved?
To improve the standard of air hygiene within a building, the air within rooms should be cleaned regularly, as well as the ventilation pipes or ductwork that supplies a building with air. There are various application methods used to disinfect the air within your building, and we can provide you with the application method(s) that is best suited to your environment.
Fogging machines generate a wet application in the form of a mist of mild disinfectants. Convection will ensure the mist floats into all corners of the room and covers the entire space. Fogging machines are useful for planned, deep cleans of buildings.
UVC disinfection is a dry application of a deep clean solution that can be utilised every day. UVC light will attack and kill pathogens in the air without disrupting your working environment.
The ductwork that forms your ventilation system will also need regular cleaning because these pipes transport air around your building. Ductwork surfaces must be cleaned properly and with the correct equipment.
Manual cleaning may also be needed when items must be agitated to ensure they are cleaned properly, and to remove vermin that may have become trapped within ventilation systems.
How can good air hygiene be maintained?
Regular monitoring, testing and cleaning of your air and ductwork can ensure good air hygiene is maintained. As specialists in air hygiene, we can identify and minimise potential health hazards that could arise due to contaminants such as dust, gases, bacteria and other airborne materials.
Monitoring and Testing Air Hygiene
We can monitor air particulates using real-time or pumped filter systems, together with volatile organic compounds. Generally, sampling the air hygiene on your site will take approximately one day, and it will not disrupt your daily operations. The number of tests needed will depend on the size of your building.
Through monitoring, records can be compared and analysed over long and short periods of time, taking into consideration seasonality and time of day.
Cleaning the Air in Buildings
We offer full system cleaning, disinfections, condition sampling and recording. We can provide onsite hygiene services including fogging machines, UVC, ductwork cleaning, specific fire dampers testing and cleaning, and kitchen extract cleaning. We can also inspect, monitor and clean air handling units (AHUs).
Managing Air Hygiene
We can help you to create compliant and purpose-built environment management and monitoring system that includes every aspect of air hygiene, as well as your temperature and humidity. Self-logging instruments will record concentrations of the pollutants over time, together with other specified variables.
We combine expert knowledge and experience with the latest air quality testing equipment to provide an exceptional air hygiene service to our clients. For more information about our air hygiene services, please get in touch.