Your Complete Guide to Workplace Ventilation

April 20, 2022

If there is one good thing that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic it is an increased focus on air quality within the workplace. KSG Health, a UK distributor of Genano air purification devices have seen a huge increase in interest in their air purification technology since the start of the pandemic, especially since restrictions eased and employees steadily made their way back to the workplace.

In the early days of the pandemic, it took some time for it to be accepted that COVID-19 could spread via aerosols, but we now know that this is the case. As such, attention has turned to how to reduce transmission within workplaces to keep staff safe and to reduce virus transmission.

Employers are required by law to ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace, but this is often not as simple as cracking open a window. Ventilation can be natural or mechanical and such measures are essential to reducing virus transmission as well as preventing the spread of other harmful airborne particles. 

Although restrictions have been lifted entirely, COVID-19 has certainly not gone away and should still be a consideration for employers when it comes to staff safety. KSG Health tells us why good air quality is more important than ever and what to do to improve it within your workplace…

Guidance for most workplaces to stop the spread is:

  • Assess the risk of aerosol transmission in enclosed areas
  • Identify any poorly ventilated areas
  • Decide steps that can be taken to improve ventilation

So, why is good ventilation so important? 

Good ventilation reduces levels of virus in the air after someone with COVID-19 has been in the area. However, it is worth noting that ventilation will reduce aerosol risk but will have minimum impact on droplet transmission (where someone is within two metres of an infected person) and contact transmission (touching surfaces).

How to identify poorly ventilated areas

Areas of the workplace that are usually in use and poorly ventilated should be identified, prioritising areas for improvement. Some simple ways to do this are:

  • Pay attention to areas where people work and where there is no ventilation (mechanical or natural such as open windows, doors or vents).
  • Make sure any mechanical systems provide outdoor air. If a system is only recirculating air and has no fresh air supply, it is likely the area is poorly ventilated.
  • Identify areas that feel stuffy or have a bad odour.
  • Use a carbon dioxide (CO2) detector, which will show CO2 levels and help you identify whether ventilation is poor.

Assessing fresh air in the workplace

When making a decision on what ventilation measures are required in your workplace, there are a number of factors that should be considered:

1. How is fresh air (ventilation) provided to your workplace?

2. How many people use the area?

3. How much time is spent in the area

4. How big is the area

5. What activities take place in the area?

6. Are desk or ceiling fans used?

Improving mechanical ventilation

Many buildings have mechanical ventilation systems which bring in fresh air from outside the building. Those who manage building operations will understand these systems, so in order to evaluate how effective the system is you should speak to them to:

  • Understand how the system operates
  • Make sure the system is supplying fresh air to the area and how much
  • Ensure they are adequately maintained 

Recirculated air

Recirculating air from one area to another is not ideal, particularly when considering the spread of COVID-19, however, air circulation units can remain operational if there is an adequate supply of outdoor air (for example open windows or doors).

It is important to note that recirculation units might make an area feel more comfortable, but this is because they can mask poor ventilation.

Clean air and filtration units

In areas where it is not possible to maintain adequate ventilation, local air cleaning and filtration units are an excellent option to reduce airborne transmission, however, they should be used to complement adequate ventilation methods, not as an alternative.

If you decide to use an air filtration unit, the best options are:

  • High-efficiency filters (HEPA)
  • Ultra-violet based units
  • Ionisation devices such as Genano Technology

Any units used should be appropriate for the area it is used in to make sure they work effectively. It should also be considered that it is not suitable to use carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors within areas that rely on air filtration units to provide ventilation, because such units remove contaminants (such as COVID-19) from the air but not CO2).

The introduction of air filtration systems such as Genano devices are just a small adjustment, but with so many positive benefits above and beyond what is provided by normal ventilation methods it can be the strong reassurance employees need as they return to their workplaces. KSG Health’s Genano technology not only eliminates 99.999% of viruses, bacteria and moulds from recirculated air but also removes atmospheric contamination down to a nanometre size. This means that it protects on two levels – removing the COVID particles themselves and removing the additional pollutants which are now known to increase our chances of contracting the virus. 

There you have it, your ultimate guide to improving workplace ventilation and reducing the transmission of COVID-19. If you are looking for a solution that offers on-going improvements to health and wellbeing and even an uplift in staff productivity, get in touch with KSG Health today at to see how Genano technology might work for you and your valued staff!

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