Return To Work Suggested Guidelines
We offer these possible return to work actions to our clients as practical steps to mitigate risk with an effort to improve the safety, health, and wellbeing of your facility.
Re-Start and Ongoing Operations to Prepare for Re-occupancy
It’s important to think about what you will do and how you will manage Return to work at your facilities when these current isolation restrictions ease up, while the virus is still out there.
Make sure your infection prevention plan is flexible and incorporates a scalable series of measures based on the current “infection alert level.” Able has developed a set of suggested approaches our team can implement to address the current COVID-19 pandemic as it applies to HVAC, mechanical, and control systems relevant to all building types. We offer these possible return to work actions to our clients as practical steps to mitigate risk with an effort to improve the safety, health, and wellbeing of your facility
- Keep HVAC fans running.
- Keep boilers and hot water circulating systems running.
- Increase outdoor ventilation.
- Exercise condenser water pumps and cooling towers daily.
- Check for water leaks daily.
- Daily: Flush and operate all plumbing fixtures, check for plumbing leaks throughout the building, and check for backed up drains.
- Weekly: Check hot water temperatures at fixtures. Check building water pressure, check p-traps to verify proper water seal, check domestic boilers and water heaters for proper operation, and check sewage and storm drains.
- Complete visual inspections of building systems for damage or issues caused by the reduced activity.
- Verify that Equipment, systems, and services supporting the building are properly functioning with a focus on building air circulating systems, including HVAC, Exhaust systems, BAS, and Access Control Systems.
- Perform a visual check of all air filters to ensure they are functioning per manufacturer and equipment specifications and replace if needed after flushing the building
- Where UV lighting is already part of a facility’s operation, ensure the system is functioning properly.
- Review building water management plans for domestic and process water systems
- Verify the operation of mechanical systems and restore all sequences, set points and schedules modified during the rollback of operations
Re-Start and Ongoing Operations
The following are suggested areas to be checked routinely:
- Use proper safety procedures and PPE as recommended by our national safety department following CDC and OSHA guidelines.
- Dampers, filters, and economizer seals and frames are intact and clean, are functional and are responding to control signals.
- Zone and air temperature, humidity and CO2 system sensors, as applicable, are calibrated and accurately reporting environmental conditions to the BAS or local controllers.
- Air Handling systems are providing adequate airflow, there are no blockages in the duct systems and air from the air handling system is reaching each occupied space.
- Exhaust fans are functional and venting to the outdoors.
- Check outside air intake regularly for any potential risks such as exhaust nearby and provide proper clearance if accessible by pedestrians, etc.
- Update or replace existing HVAC air filtration based on manufacturer’s recommendation and system design.
- Continued operation of all systems should be considered.
- Outside air for ventilation should be increased while still maintaining acceptable indoor conditions during occupied hours.
- Flushing sequences should be implemented to operate the HVAC system with maximum outside airflows for two hours before and after occupied times.
- Systems may be operated at minimum outside air settings when the building is unoccupied or not operating in the flushing mode
COVID-19 Safety Training for Engineering
In order to prepare a facility for increased occupancy after a period of inactivity or reduced activity, the Able Services staff will be provided with:
- PPE as recommended by our national safety department following CDC and OSHA guidelines
- Training on the proper use and disposal of PPE
- Training on infection prevention and control measures
- Cross training to ensure critical building functions are maintained in an emergency
- Instruction to staff to stay at home if they are feeling sick
Each employee takes ownership in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and will perform tasks only when properly trained and have the proper PPE. Engineering staff will also follow applicable safety practices, existing regulatory requirements, policies, procedures and risk assessments.
Able Services team members pride themselves in maintaining a safe and compliant work environment.
At Able Services, we advocate for our employees’ health and safety, through consistent training and education, meetings, communications and encouraging involvement in the development and implementation of the health and safety program. Our engineering teams continue to work diligently to ensure all employees are informed and safe. Examples of training and communication we provide include:
- Monthly Chief/Supervisor safety calls
- Safety Committee meetings
- Safety bulletins & COVID related safety moments
- COVID-19 Entry Procedures
- Hazard Awareness
- Disinfecting the Workplace for COVID-19
- Pandemics: Slowing the Spread