OSHA Provides New COVID-19 Guidance Regarding Workplace Ventilation

November 11, 2020

OSHA recently issued new guidance on how to use workplace ventilation systems to reduce exposures to the coronavirus, including efficiency targets for air filters and recommendations for fan use. The guidance calls for employers to install HVAC filters with minimum efficiency reporting value ratings of “13 or higher, where feasible,” and to “consider using” high-efficiency particulate air fan and filtration systems, “especially in higher-risk areas.”

It also urges several stems to increase the flow of outdoor air into indoor areas, including increasing HVAC systems’ outdoor air intake; taking steps to verify that exhaust air is not being pulled back into a building, such as by traveling through open windows or nearby intakes; ensuring exhaust fans in restrooms specifically are “fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on”; and opening windows and “other sources of fresh air” when possible.

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