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New BESA specification will ‘revolutionise building air quality’

A new specification for ventilation hygiene has been launched by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) as part of its ongoing efforts to minimise the risk posed by contaminated indoor air to human health and wellbeing.

BESA has also updated two of its air hygiene training courses to ensure delivery against the new specification and improve safety standards in buildings. The courses are designed so that contractors can advise their clients about ventilation cleanliness to help them meet health & safety obligations and comply with increasingly stringent legislation.

The Association said that TR19® Air ‘Specification for internal cleanliness and hygiene management of ventilation systems’ was designed to address an “urgent need for better cleaning and maintenance of ventilation ducting”. This has been highlighted by healthcare professionals as vital for reducing building occupants’ exposure to harmful airborne particulates and pollutants.

The Covid-19 pandemic also raised awareness of the role of effective ventilation in reducing the spread of disease in indoor spaces and prompted a dramatic rise in the level of air quality monitoring.  

BESA Technical Director, Graeme Fox said: “Employers and building managers have an obligation under health & safety legislation to ensure the indoor environment is safe and does not pose a risk to the health and wellbeing of workers and visitors. Cleaning ventilation ductwork has often been considered one of those ‘out of sight out of mind’ tasks that can be postponed or avoided entirely to reduce cost, but the pandemic proved just how risky that strategy is.

“This new specification is a big step towards revolutionising air quality in buildings and it will help building owners and managers meet their obligations and remain compliant with legislation.”

The new TR19® Air Hygiene Operative course will provide training on cleaning ventilation systems to the required standards with operatives having to complete both theory and practical tests.

The second course, Air Hygiene Technician, is for those who, as well as cleaning, must also be able to produce risk assessments/method statements (RAMS); install access panels, and inspect, test and report on the cleanliness of the system.

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