On Nov. 4, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a new guidance document on ventilation in the workplace. OSHA recommends, “Employers should work with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning professional to consider steps to optimize building ventilation. An HVAC professional can ensure that the ventilation system is operating as intended.”

The guidance document also provides tips on how employers can help reduce the risk of employee exposure to COVID-19, which includes:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick;
  • Ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional;
  • Remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from one worker to another;
  •  Use HVAC system filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating of 13 or higher, where feasible;
  • Increase the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake;
  • Consider using portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to increase clean air;
  • Make sure exhaust fans in restrooms are fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on; and
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.