Hospital renovations can be one of the most challenging construction sites and should only be done by experienced professionals. Owners should always request the contractor's health and safety plan and establish an Infection Control Risk Assessment before starting work (ICRA). In addition to the owner, it is also important for the contractor to know and apply these Infection Control Measures to reduce the risk of contamination or infection from the construction activities of the facilities. People are in the hospital to avoid situations that can get worse.
1. Collection Areas. Appropriate blocking of work areas and the establishment of barricades is one of the most important measures taken during hospital renovation. The contractor should use temporary wall sections from the ground to completely cover an area that will go through construction activities. Typically, in small projects / short-term projects, thick plastic barriers with zippered doors can be used. In larger areas, temporary walls made of metal framing and plasterboard are more practical. Metal frame and drywall option will be more durable in long term projects. Typically, the contractor will place 2 doors on these temporary wall sections to accommodate 2 exit vehicles. The use of barriers made of plaster wall cladding, metal studs and standard interior doors will provide the contractor with an area that can be secured to limit the risk of theft and injury when the job site is closed. Controlling the construction is important for the safety of workers / patients roaming the construction sites, as well as to prevent the spread of dust to the hospital.
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2. Negative Air Pressure. In most cases, the contractor will generate dust when carrying out construction activities. For the safety of hospitals and patients, the contractor wants to create negative compressed air, so the area under construction actually takes air from the hospital rather than pushing it into the hospital. These negative air machines contain HEPA filters and actually filter the air and are directed out of the hospital through an window through an exhaust duct. The size of the machine to be selected and used will depend on the size of the required area and the required CFM. There are many brands, and a local reduction supplies store is often a good place to find them. Rental stores can also carry them. The best advice is to compare the price of HEPA replacement filters, because they can be expensive and frequent changes may be required depending on the size of the area to be renewed and the type of activities that produce dust. One caveat is that certain areas of the hospital are sterile processing areas and must be under Positive pressure. These areas are exceptions to the rule and should not be placed under negative air pressure. 3. Closing Return and Supply Air Ducts. Another important measure in control infections in hospital construction is to isolate the renovation area from the HVAC system of the main building. All return vents should be sealed, taped or sealed to prevent the dust generated in the construction area from circulating and entering the rest of the hospital. If possible, all feed holes should also be removed. This will assist the negative air pressure of the area and will hold dust in the construction site. This is a precautionary measure that requires a discreet approach. In some areas, extreme cold and hot air may not allow disconnection of the feed holes due to the risk of freezing / overheating. These risks are understandable and can be overcome with a larger negative air machine to balance the supply CFM entering the field.
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4. Dust Control. Another good practice to prevent dust from spreading to the hospital floor areas is to maintain a clean job site. Use HEPA Filter Store Vacuums; filters most of the air particles to hold the dust. Also, track the area with a dry mop in the middle and at the end of the workday and a wet mop depending on the ongoing construction activities. This will keep the floor clean and minimize dust / debris on worker shoes and provide the chance to monitor it through the hospital. Use a dry mat, wet mat and mats at the construction entrances. Ask workers to wipe their feet with a dry mop, then a wet mop and then a sticky mop before leaving the area. These mats have a sticky edge when workers and roller cars go in and out of the field and pull dirt and debris into the mat. Due to ongoing construction activities in space, these mats and mats require more or less frequent replacement and attention. The best entrance / exit to a place passes through stair wells in most cases.
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