With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business premises have had to temporarily close their doors to the public. However, with a projected vaccine rollout now in place, many business owners are confidently looking to the future in order to determine the safest way to reopen their businesses. One of the key points to consider when doing so safely, especially to protect staff and clients, is to understand indoor air quality and its effect on the respiratory system. Most business owners and employers will be familiar with the recommendations set out by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which states that poor air quality can 'increase the risk of ill health' to those exposed, and that 'air pollution from cookers, damp, cleaning products and fires can irritate the lungs and exacerbate asthma symptoms'. So although the current pandemic has highlighted the importance of good air quality now more than ever, it has always been an essential consideration for many businesses in order to protect those who use their premises on a regular basis. The government currently have in place a social distancing policy of 2 metres between all people, both indoors and outdoors, at all times. This means that even if the SARS-CoV-2 virus stays airborne for several hours, it should still not be able to be transmitted from one person to another. Therefore, business owners should ensure that social distancing is possible throughout their premises in order to follow this recommended guideline. Equally, making sure that all office workspaces and communal areas, such as kitchens and break rooms, are well ventilated at all times can also help to keep air circulating effectively and remove any contaminated air faster.
In order to lower the risk posed by poor air quality, there are plenty of measures businesses can put in place both now and in the future to maintain good air quality on their premises. Considering your current heating and air conditioning systems can be an easy step to ensure your property is being ventilated effectively. Using a high quality air filtration system can help to remove any unwanted viruses from the air and can encourage new air into circulation. Fresh air is equally as important as air that has been filtered, so where possible is it a good idea to open windows and make use of natural ventilation sources to help keep staff and customers safe. However, the COVID-19 virus doesn't just remain in the air for hours at a time but can also stay on surfaces for up to three days at a time if not cleaned properly. This is especially true for hard surfaces, such as desks and door handles, so ensuring all surfaces are disinfected multiple times a day can help in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Personal responsibility is equally as important when it comes to air quality, so wearing a face covering at all times should also be mandatory for all those on site, including those entering and leaving too, in order to preserve the cleanest air possible. Regularly washing hands and using hand santiser stations is also a simple yet effective way to protect both employees and clients.
Some businesses and premises, such as schools and essential shops, have remained open throughout the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic, even during periods of lockdown. If this is the case for your business, then it may seem harder to reassess the needs of your premises without the time to close up and reevaluate cleaning and air circulation measures. However, there are still plenty of easy ways to improve the air quality and overall cleanliness of your premises even if you are still allowed to remain open. Keeping windows open as much as possible is one of the fastest ways to keep air flowing naturally, helping to avoid COVID-19 transmission. But as the weather turns colder, this can understandably prove challenging for many business owners and education facilities. A good solution to this would be to get in touch with an air quality company who will be able to provide you with a personalised plan and solution to maintain the best air quality possible when using a recycled air system. Why not contact one of the helpful and friendly team at Air Quality Plan today? Air Quality Plan can provide effective and expert advice as to how to improve and maintain air quality for your business premises, helping to keep you safe from airborne COVID-19 transmission.