Ventilation risk assessment

Ventilation risk assessment – a legal requirement

It is not widely known that the only legal requirement with regard to ventilation system hygiene is that the systems are regularly inspected and the findings recorded. This is a requirement laid down in the Health and Safety at Work Act and applies to owners and operators of workplace premises.

This inspection was traditionally carried out by “in house” staff but recent investigations conducted after various “incidents” questions whether such staff have the experience and qualifications to pass judgement of the cleanliness of a ventilation system. These judgements would include the ability to interpret the guidelines laid down by the HVCA TR19, CIBSE TM26 and HTM 03-1. Our list of accreditations gives all of our clients the necessary reassurance with regard to correct interpretation of the above standards. Numerous organisations, both private and public, have found our Risk Assessment service useful in establishing the internal conditions of any ventilation system so that appropriate action can be taken. We have a wide range of photographic and diagnostic equipment which can measure dust levels, microbiological content (verified by an independent, accredited laboratory), temperature, humidity and CO2. All of these results can be compared with the threshold levels detailed in the relevant standards and compiled into a written report. This report will feature digital photography to highlight our findings whilst also suggesting whether any remedial action is required. Risk Assessments of the nature we provide can be useful in obtaining funding for a cleaning programme or investigating complaints over indoor air quality which could lead to a regular monitoring programme being instigated so that any adverse internal conditions can be recognised before they become a significant problem.

Our team of experienced surveyors can advise on the scale and scope of any risk assessment project you may be considering, This initial consultation is free of charge and will cover the potential use of all the types of diagnostic equipment we have available to accurately ascertain the internal conditions within any ventilation system.

Case history

SOUTH YORKSHIRE FOOD PROCESSING PLANT

raA large food processing factory needs to maintain the highest levels of hygiene to meet the rigorous standards laid down by high street supermarket chains. Part of the hygiene regime is an annual risk assessment of the internal condition of all ductwork and air handling units that serve production areas. This establishes the levels of particulate and micro-biological contaminants so that a maintenance and cleaning programme can be implemented. A spokesman for the company commented “The annual risk assessment helps us identify areas of priority so that we can meet our clients strict hygiene audit criteria.”

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