Infection Control | Penn Air Group

Penn Air Group
24 / 7 Emergency Support

Infection Control

Healthcare Facilities

Infection Control during construction is a specialized service, which provides the precautionary measures, equipment, engineering controls and containment barriers to mitigate the potential of spreading disease producing agents during construction, maintenance and restoration. Regardless of whether the project is small scale, short in duration or a major renovation, these protocols are designed to maintain the Environment of Care (EC), and aid in Infection Control by isolating the construction zone(s) from the rest of the facility.

Health Care facilities rely heavily on an effective ventilation and water system. When these systems are not responding to their controls, workers and patients can become susceptible to infection or disease transmission.

The two main sources for possible outbreaks are air and water. Airborne contaminants in operating rooms can cause an infection for patients undergoing surgery while water contaminants can enter through water lines used for hemodialysis machines.
How its Done
Constructing and maintaining containment barriers, anti-rooms and point-of-entry devises to prevent dust and disease producing agents from leaving the construction zone. These barriers are designed to be impermeable and will be in compliance with emergency egress and fire codes.

Creating and maintaining a negative pressure between the construction zone and adjacent areas. This critical step is monitored via data logging manometers which alarm if the pressure differential violates pre-determined set-points.

Pre-construction testing, adjusting and balancing of the ventilation system(s) serving the construction zone and adjacent areas to meet and comply with room air exchange rates, pressurization levels and other requirements. Factors such as air intakes and filtration will also be addressed at this time.

Isolating HVAC systems where work is being performed. Providing and maintaining portable air-conditioning (spot coolers) within the construction zones so as to maintain specified temperature and humidity levels.

Providing and maintaining portable negative air machines and vacuums. Note, each machine is equipped with final filters and seals which are third-party (field) certified as HEPA* compliant. All filters are replaced and challenged for each new project.

Providing and maintaining portable, point-of-use, (HEPA) filtrated, containment devises (for small scale, short in duration projects).

Measuring/documenting/reporting dust levels within the construction zone. Equipment utilized includes calibrated, 6-channel laser particle counter(s). This technique tracks contamination sources and quantifies airborne particle amounts before, during and after the project.

Sealing of all penetrations, gaps and holes leading to areas adjacent to the construction zone, including installation of fire-stopping materials (if required).

Providing worker Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and clothing appropriate for the project.

Providing post-renovation (terminal) cleaning of the construction zone and affected HVAC system(s)

Post-renovation HVAC system testing, adjusting and balancing to meet design air flows, air exchange rates, pressurizations and temperature & humidity levels.

We will aid the facility’s risk managers, engineering staff, nurse supervisors, and infection control professionals (IP) in generating infection control (IC) protocols, preconstruction risk assessments (PcrA), infection control risk assessments (IcrA), and infection control work plans (ICWP).

Additionally included is a review of interim life safety measures (ILSM) and concerns, pathways for workers and debris removal, impacts on utilities and the potential for increased noise & vibration. Each will be evaluated as to the effect on areas above, below and adjacent to the project.

* HEPA filters are designed to capture 99.97% of 0.3-micron (0.000012-inch) particles - such as many pathogens, microbial spores and other undesirable contaminants. Each project is supplied with new, HEPA filters which are field tested and third- party certified as HEPA.
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