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What Are the Laws and Recommendations for Air Quality at Work?

Ever wondered if there are regulations in place about workplace air quality and ventilation? Well, the answer is yes.

It’s the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that sets these rules out through the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. These make sure that air quality remains adequate and safe for all employees.

You can read the full copy of these regulations here. However, if you’d just like the highlights, then we’ll talk you through what is expected of you as an employer and what you can expect from your workplace as an employee.

Air quality regulations

In the UK, “effective and suitable provision” should be made by employers to “ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.” 

This means that any work space, whether it’s an office, factory or shop, should have systems in place which replace unwanted air with fresh, clean air. This will also help to prevent workplaces from getting stuffy and overheating.

The government regulations state that workplaces should normally be supplied with at least 5-8 litres of fresh air per second, per occupant, but more may be needed in more crowded areas, where machinery or equipment is used or where people are doing strenuous work.

This fresh air should be as clean as possible to avoid employees inhaling anything undesirable, like pollution or pollen, that could make them unwell. To do this, employers need to make sure that ventilation systems are located away from places where there could be contaminated air, such as near roads or near an exhaust.

The regulations also state that mechanical ventilation systems should be provided for some or all of a workplace, if this is necessary to ensure adequate ventilation. When re-circulating air, these systems should have adequate filters to remove impurities and their fresh air inlets should always be kept open. All of our units at Ventilation Megastore adhere to these rules.

Systems also need to be regularly cleaned, tested and maintained to ensure they’re kept clean and free from anything which may cause the air to become contaminated.

It is important to note that, while Regulation 6 is a great resource to refer to for general workplace ventilation, it is not designed to help with controlling employees’ exposure to any harmful substances such as asbestos, lead or ionising radiations. More details on these regulations can be found here.

Will my business benefit from mechanical ventilation?

Absolutely! Mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems are the perfect solution if your firm is struggling to meet the required regulations for ventilation, or if you simply want to create a better environment for your staff.

Our MVHR units are designed to help your business reduce energy bills. What’s more, they also look after the environment with a highly efficient heat exchanger.

The system will remove stale air in the workplace while ensuring that your team has access to fresh, filtered air all year round. So you don’t have to worry about opening any windows and making your staff chilly!

What’s more, filters are easy to access and washable, with the heat exchangers removable for hassle-free cleaning, meaning that the units are simple to maintain. Built with efficiency in mind, they’ll fit into small spaces within your premises without taking up too much room.

So, if you’re interested in getting your own MVHR system, we’ll work with you to find the right solution for your workspace. We’ll take into account the size of your workspace, the number of occupants and the nature of your work, to ensure everyone can benefit from safe, clean and fresh air - no matter the weather.

To find out more about how MVHR systems can work for your company, or if you have any queries, please get in touch with our team today.

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