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  • Rob DeMalo

Re-Opening Safely

While teachers prepare for in-person learning, kids dig out their backpacks, plant managers fire up machines and office staff return to retro-fitted cubicles, a daunting task remains. Principals, administrators, property managers and even owners face the challenge ensuring their school, building or facility is safe. No, maintaining a healthy and harmless environment is not new. The past year, if nothing else, has brought all areas of industrial and environmental hygiene more in focus. So as the re-opening continues, IEC looks to help with some key readiness tips.


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Spotlight: COVID-19 Mitigation


COVID-19 Safety Services

Ventilation System Evaluations • Environmental Testing • Training & Mitigation

IEC takes a comprehensive approach with on-site assessments, air/surface sampling and occupancy patterning to mitigate the transmission of the SAR-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus.


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Other Environmental Considerations for Building Readiness


As part of re-opening protocols, COVID-19 and air ventilation system upgrades or improvements are critical however only address some potential concerns. The temporary shutdown, reduced building operations and reductions in normal water use can create hazards for returning occupants. According to CDC and ASHRAE reopening guidelines, facility managers should also check for the following hazards:


Water Quality:

Stagnant and/or unused waterlines can allow lead (Pb) and Copper (Cu) to leach from the pipes as well as can provide the conditions that support growth of Legionella bacteria.


Indoor Air Quality:

Reduced HVAC operation and neglected water leaks can lead to increased humidity and moisture intrusion which may result in mold growth and/or odors.


Environmental Quality:

Reactivation of old or previously dormant air handling units (AHUs) may disturb and disseminate asbestos fibers and/or lead in settled dust.


Avoid juggling consultants with IEC and its full range of industrial hygiene services to re-open safely.


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