Good ventilation in workplaces is a key control in helping to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Adequate ventilation is not just a legal requirement but it reduces how much virus is in the air and therefore the risk of breathing it in. Updated guidance from the HSE reveals how to assess and improve your workplace ventilation.

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.

The updated HSE guidance will help you and your workers:

– assess your workplace to identify poorly ventilated areas
– decide on the actions you can take to improve ventilation

Why ventilation is important

Someone who has coronavirus breathes out small particles (aerosols) of the virus.
Adequate ventilation reduces how much virus is in the air, so it reduces the risk of breathing in the virus.

The HSE guide on how ventilation helps you reduce the spread of COVID-19 (PDF) summarises the main actions you should take.

What to do in addition to ventilation

Although ventilation is important it doesn’t reduce:
– droplet transmission (from people being in close contact)
– contact transmission (touching surfaces)

You should still make sure you are working safely by:
– keeping your workplace clean
– ensuring that workers and others are washing their hands frequently

You can identify other control measures through your risk assessment.