One of the key areas that our Infection Control Division has been used in recent years is that of the office based environment. Through the spread of micro-organisms & viruses, outbreaks of sickness in offices is one of the reasons for staff absenteeism and if the spread of the infection is not contained and neutralised it can cause major staffing problems for businesses.
We have well established effective procedures and treatments that both eliminate infections at the source and offer advice leading to the long term prevention of dangerous bacteria and viruses. If left untreated these can spread and cost businesses thousands of pounds in lost revenue, with sick pay, agency staff and the cost of overtime to cope with the staff absenteeism. The office is one of the places at high risk of the spread of infection due to the close proximity of the people that are working in this environment.
SBS (Sick Building Syndrome) happens where people in particular work environments have a range of non-specific symptoms. SBS symptoms include, headaches,dizziness, nausea and fatigue which can appear on their own or with each other and improve after leaving the building.
Many cases of SBS occur in open-plan offices and other buildings that are occupied by a number of people and experts believe that SBS may be the result of a combination of different factors some of these are a poorly cleaned & maintained ventilation systems, changes in temperature , airborne pollutants including dust (dead skin & hair), fungal spores and poor standards of cleanliness within the building itself.
One of the suspected causes of indoor air pollution is the contamination of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air- Conditioning)units. Inefficient ventilation due to a poor or non–existent cleaning regime of Air Handling Units, Ductwork and Dampers can contribute to higher levels of employee sickness and absenteeism and Sick Building Syndrome is also said to be more likely to occur in properties with HVAC systems than those without.
Due to increased health and safety legislations including the introduction of the Health and Safety (workplace) 1992 Regulations 5&6 on Ventilation Systems many insurance companies require HVAC systems to undertake regular duct cleaning programs and hygiene testing by qualified contractors.
As NHS Trusts, Hospitals and Private Nursing Homes now have to meet the requirements set out in Department Of Health’s HTM 03-01 Specialised Ventilation Of Health Care Premises and have to ensure that patients, workers and others are protected against the identifiable risks of acquiring an HCAI.
To control the spread of infections all internal surfaces of Duct Systems have to be cleaned to an approved standard (HVCA TR/19), on a regular basis to remove the build-up of dirt and contaminates that are a source of nutrients for micro-organisms (Bacteria, Fungi), these can then become airborne which could lead to patients and staff acquiring a HCAI and can also contribute to staff absenteeism
By using an audited Infection Control Service from the initial survey through to Risk Assessment, COSHH Assessment, Method Statements, Daily Work Sheets and Completion Sheets you the Practice / Facilities Manager are complying with The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Registration of Regulated Activities)2009 Regulations and The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Code of practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance).
For more details about our Specialist Infection Control Service Click Here or call our team now on: 0345 202 5757