COVID-19 – Air conditioning at work

COVID-19 – Air conditioning at work

Thank you for trying to keep our community and your workforce safe and healthy!

There are various resources that may be downloaded or used for the workplace on this page.

With the spread of COVID-19 businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work from home, wherever possible. This is particularly important for vulnerable employees [see bottom of page].

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with flu type symptoms, they should be sent home and advised to contact 111.

In terms of general guidance, it is good practice for employers to:

Keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace.

Make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date.

Ensure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace is potentially infected and needs to take the appropriate action.

Make sure there are places to wash hands, either with soap and water and/or 70% alcohol hand sanitizer, and encourage everyone to do so regularly.
Make sure that shared spaces in the workplace have good air flow, opening a window and personal fans as opposed to air conditioning.

Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 70% or more alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are always the preferred method of cleaning, particularly if/when hands are visibly dirty.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as work surfaces, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tables etc. every day.

A general guide for businesses and workplaces wishing to minimise risk of Covid-19 as we ‘unlock the rock’, can be accessed here; note this information is also relevant to those in need of a permit.

The Environmental Agency have produced additional guidance for restaurants, which can be accessed here.

Discuss any additional questions with your line manager or email

Remember, those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) whom we need to safeguard with best hygiene prevention methods are:
aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions) or
those with a weakened immune system (resultant from a health condition such as HIV or because of current medication such as steroidal tablets or chemotherapy)
immunosuppressed; for example, those receiving cancer treatment, taking corticosteroids, are on anti-TNF therapy or have poorly controlled HIV/AIDS
Read more here.

Those who are active smokers will have a reduced respiratory defence, so it is sensible to encourage any staff members who smoke to quit (see for more, or click here for tips).

The main vulnerability is older age, above 70 years of age.