HSE Guidelines

As air is invisible there is a tendency to take the quality of the air we breathe for granted. Given that the average person has an air intake of about 3.4 litres of air every minute , the dangers of an inadequate or polluted air supply are only too obvious. This coupled with our rapidly changing environment, and the expectations of clients, building occupiers and legislators, have resulted in ever more stringent levels of ventilation system cleanliness being required. These are being covered by the following publications:-

HSE - The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare - ISBN 0 11 886333 9

The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare, Regulation 6 par. 33 states " Mechanical ventilation systems (including air conditioning systems) should be regularly and properly cleaned, tested and maintained to ensure that they are kept clean and free from anything which may contaminate the air. Failure to carry out these duties is a breach of the regulations. The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) accompanying the above regulation gives guidance on how compliance with the regulations can be achieved. The ACOP also includes guidance of reasonable practicable steps that can be taken. Failure to follow the ACOP is not a breach of the regulation, but in the event of a prosecution it can be seen as a failure to comply with the relevant regulation unless it can be shown the regulation has been complied with in another way.

HVCA - Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems TR/19 -ISBN 0 903783 35 5

HVCA - Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems TR/19 establishes for the first time in the UK a level of particulate cleanliness verification for both new and existing ventilation systems and an indication of when it is considered appropriate to clean system in use.

Who's Responsible

Under general health and safety law the building owner or building manager has a duty of care to ensure that employees and visitors are in a safe environment and adequate precautions have been taken.

Action Required

Annual monitoring of the internal cleanliness of an air conditioning system is essential and should be undertaken at your premises as outlined in the Heath & Safety guidance(This may be required to be undertaken more frequently depending on risk factor

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