by Breda O’Malley Partner, Head of Employment Law, Hayes solicitors LLP
Sufficient ventilation and air filtration is important in reducing the risk of transmission of the coronavirus. Many employees spend a considerable amount of time indoors, so it is important to reduce the threat of airborne viruses.
The Code of Practice for Indoor Air Quality came into operation on 26 May 2023. The Code of Practice is relevant to all places of work and employers should use this to develop policies, conduct risk assessments and implement control measures to address IAQ and ventilation in the workplace. It provides a practical ‘risk assessment’ approach to help employers make a reasonable determination of indoor air quality (IAQ) in their workplace.
The Code of Practice provides practical guidance on:
- improving IAQ;
- improving ventilation in workplaces;
- establishing a set of acceptable values for specific chemical and physical parameters; and
- describing mechanisms to identify, evaluate and control IAQ issues.
The Code of Practice should be consulted in the planning and design of new work environments and in the refurbishment or upgrading of existing work environments.
- Ventilation is essential to ensuring good IAQ. Use both natural and mechanical ventilation;
- All filter units should be regularly maintained, and filters changed according to the schedule specified by the manufacturer;
- Designing out risks is part of initial building design, but it can also be incorporated into retrofit and refurbishment projects; and
- Regular cleaning can help improve IAQ when it is done correctly. Sweeping and dusting can re-suspend dirt and dust, but vacuuming can reduce this when suitable filters are installed to prevent release of these particles back into the air.
Read more here code_of_practice_for_indoor_air_quality.pdf (hsa.ie)
About the author
Breda O’Malley practises in Employment law and leads the Employment Law team at Hayes solicitors. She advises both employers and employees on all aspects of the employment relationship. Breda adopts a commercially pragmatic approach to dispute issues, avoiding litigation for her clients where appropriate, and using her skills as an accredited commercial mediator.
Breda is a prominent adviser in the area of the Transfer Regulations (TUPE), where she has advised employers outsourcing and changing service providers. Her previous legal practice in commercial law work strongly influences her pragmatic business focused approach to the clients she advises. Breda acts for a broad spectrum of clients from multinational corporations, large public entities and European Works Councils to indigenous Irish businesses, charities and private clients on the employer side. She also acts for C-suite executives in PLCs and multinationals.