Air Quality & Building Hygiene

Covid Ventilation Surveys

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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

During the lifespan buildings there are constant challenges to achieve and maintain optimum system performance while providing clean, compliant & hygienic indoor environments for the health and wellbeing of building users.  

 

HBI provide a broad range of proactive indoor air quality monitoring services as well as responding reactively to indoor air quality problems in occupied buildings. Our specialist indoor air quality services include:

  • Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

  • Indoor Air Quality Investigations

  • Dust Monitoring

  • Data Centre Environmental Testing

  • Ventilation System Cleanliness Inspections

  • Clean Room Testing

  • Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Testing

  • HTM03-01 Healthcare Ventilation System Verification & Validation

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Buildings may be subject to a number of changes in layout, services, use or occupancy but continued good performance will be expected and HBI can assist in achieving this goal.  Whether during design and construction or while occupied, HBI can assist with:

  • Air Quality Assessments for New Developments

  • BREEAM or LEED Assessments

  • Carbon Reduction/Energy Efficiency Surveys

 

Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Testing

Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) is provided to protect workers who may be exposed to hazardous airborne dust, gases, vapours or fumes as part of their day-to-day work activities.

The control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 requires that exposure of employees to substances hazardous to health be either prevented or, where that is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.

The purpose of an LEV is to control the emission as close as possible to the point of release.  To be effective, an LEV must be well designed and constructed, properly used and maintained in good condition. Regulation 9 of COSHH states that:

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  • LEV should be maintained in an efficient state, working order and in good repair

  • LEV should be examined and tested at least once every 14 months

  • LEV suitable record of the examination and test is kept for at least 5 years

The maintenance, examination and testing of LEV plant is to ensure that it operates as originally intended and to effectively capture and dispose of hazardous airborne substances.  LEV testing should comprise the following stages:

  • An initial appraisal of the LEV plant to determine whether it effectively captures and disposes of the emissions and whether it meets the designed specification and performance

  • Regular maintenance, including weekly visual checks and the routine replacement of components known to have a limited life including filters

  • Thorough examination and testing including observation and measurement of air velocities and flow rates with the results compared with the recommendations within the regulations

 
 

Occupational Hygiene

Poor working practises and workplace conditions can lead to staff sickness and long term health and well-being issues.  Healthy Buildings International can assist companies by monitoring chemical, biological and physical exposures, advising on reducing workplace exposure and ensuring safe working environments, meeting both EH40 exposure limits and other HSE limits. 

 

HBI’s sampling protocols include air sampling, bulk sampling and instrument measurement to assist clients in controlling exposure risks.

HBI can assist with-

  • Workplace Noise Assessments

  • Dust and Silica Exposure Monitoring

  • Chemical Exposure Monitoring

  • Heavy Metal Monitoring, including Lead Sampling

  • Anthrax Testing

  • Moulds and other Biological Agents

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HBI Workplace Hygiene Inspection

HBI can assist in providing reassurance that Workplace Hygiene is good and that general cleaning regimes or deep cleans are effective in reducing the risk of infection transmission.

Background

As staff look to return to office working following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, concerns are being raised about the hygiene and cleanliness of the workplace.

HBI Workplace Surface Hygiene Inspection

Offices may be confined and crowded environments which can lead to an increased risk of contamination by transmission, generally through touch regarding any remedial cleaning and disinfection procedures that have been completed.

HBI Workplace Surface Hygiene Inspection

On return to occupancy, buildings users will inevitably ask “How clean
are the building surfaces?” Building environments can lead to an
increased risk of contamination by transmission, generally through
touch. If an individual touches a contaminated surface with their
hands, and then touches their face, eyes or mouth, the pathogen can
enter the body and has the potential to cause illness. The cleanliness of
surfaces touched frequently is critical whilst those with lower touch
frequency such as furniture, floors, blinds and walls do not pose as high
a risk of transmission of infection to individuals. In commercial
environments, high frequency touch areas can be divided into those
related to:

HBI Workplace Surface Hygiene Inspection

• Circulation
• General Offices Areas
• Toilets
• Kitchens

HBI can visit your building and undertake high touch surface sampling using Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) swabs.

ATP is a molecule present in all living cells and its presence can be detected by a biochemical reaction which emits light, known as
bioluminescence. The intensity of the light produced is directly correlated to the amount of ATP present. This effect allows the amount of biologically based soiling on a surface to be quickly tested surface,
thereby giving an objective measure of how contaminated a surface is.

HBI Workplace Surface Hygiene Inspection

ATP swab sampling is a measure of microbial contamination and overall cleanliness. The results can also be
used as an indicative surrogate for the potential presence of viruses on a surface. By taking surface ATP swabs throughout a building, it is possible to identify trends in areas where contamination is present.

Causes of contamination can vary from user actions through to efficacy and/or scope of cleaning programmes.

From the data collected, HBI are able to provide data on individual hotspots for potential contamination, as well as trend graphs for a building or collection of buildings.

This data can reassure building occupants and managers that their work environment is being maintained to the best possible standard in terms of cleanliness.

Use of this inspection programme can assist clients in achieving a lower risk and more reassuring and productive return to office working...