Infection Control Measures to Take During Hospital Construction and Renovation Projects

Hospital renovations can be one of the most challenging areas of construction and should only be done by experienced professionals. Owners should always request the contractor’s health and safety plan and have an (ICRA) Infection Control Risk Assessment created prior to work commencing. It is as important for the owner’s representative as well as the contractor to be aware and implement these Infection Control Measures to reduce the facilities risk of spreading or creating infections from construction activities. People are in the hospital to get better not be exposed to situations in which they could get worse.
1. Containment Areas. Properly blocking off and barricading work spaces is one of the most important measures taken during a hospital renovation. The contractor should utilize floor to deck temporary wall partitions to fully seal off an area that will be undergoing Bathrooms Remodels activities. Typically, thick plastic barriers with zippered doors can be utilized on small projects / short duration projects. While on larger areas, temporary walls constructed of metal framing and gypsum drywall are more practical. In long term projects the metal frame and drywall option will be more durable. Typically the contractor will place 2 doors in these temporary wall partitions for compliance with 2 means of egress. Utilizing barriers constructed of gypsum wallboard, metal studs, and standard interior doors will provide the contractor a space that can be secured when the jobsite is down which will limit risks of theft and injuries. Containing the construction is important for safety of workers / patients wandering into construction areas as well as to prevent dust from spreading into the hospital.
2. Negative Air Pressure. In most cases, when performing construction activities the contractor will be generating dust. For the safety of the hospital and patients the contractor wants to create negative pressure air so that the space under construction is actually pulling air from the hospital instead of pushing air into the hospital. These negative air machines contain HEPA filters and will actually filter the air and are routed to the outside of the hospital through an exhaust duct via a window. The size of the machine to be selected and used will be based on the size of the space and CFM required. Many brands exist and a local abatement supply store is often a good place to find these. Rental stores may carry these as well. The best advice is to compare the HEPA replacement filter pricing as these can be expensive and required frequent changing depending on the size of the space to be renovated and types of dust generating activities to be performed. The one caveat to this is certain areas of the hospital are sterile processing areas and are required to be under Positive are pressure. These areas are the exception to the rule and should not be placed under negative air pressure. 3. Closing off Return and Supply Air Vents. Another important measure in control infections in hospital construction is to isolate the renovation space …