OSHA Issues COVID-19 Guidance on Ventilation in the Workplace


OSHA has released another in its series of COVID-related safety alerts – this one on ventilation in the workplace. OSHA recommends that employers work with a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional to optimize building ventilation. In addition, OSHA offers a number of tips, including the following:

  • Ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional, especially those shut down or operating at reduced capacity during the pandemic.
  • Remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from one worker to another.
  • Use HVAC system filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher, where feasible.
  • Increase the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake. Open windows or other sources of fresh air where possible.
  • Be sure exhaust air is not pulled back into the building from HVAC air intakes or open windows.
  • Consider using portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to increase clean air, especially in higher-risk areas.
  • Make sure exhaust fans in restrooms are fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on.