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Infection Control Risk Assessment During a Healthcare Facility Construction
One of the most challenging projects that a contractor can have is a renovation of a hospital or a healthcare facility. This is the reason why only the experts engage in this one. Every hospital administration should ask for the contractor’s ICRA or Infection Control Risk Assessment as well as their health and safety plan. This is an important step so that everyone in the worksite will be safe including the staff and patients. This will help reduce the risk of injuries, disease, and infection spreading while construction is going on. When looking at an ICRA then it is important that factors will be taken into considerations.
One of the factors that should be considered is the containment areas. It is important that the workspace should be barricaded or blocked off. It is the job of the contractor to ensure that there are temporary wall partitions that will seal off the area that is being worked on. Most of the contractors will be utilizing thick plastic barriers as well as zippered doors. This is usually done for smaller projects that will require a shorter time frame. For larger areas that need renovation, it is the contractor that will be using metal frames with gypsum boars as a partition. These partitions are critical not just to avoid infections but also to avoid any possible theft or injuries. Ensuring the safety of the working site will be beneficial for both construction workers and the patients as well.
Another factor that also will need consideration when it comes to hospital or healthcare facility construction is the negative air pressure. It is common for a construction site to be generating dust. A contractor that has proper ICRA will ensure that they will be able to create a negative pressure area. This will help protect patients as well as the hospital staff. Creating negative air pressure helps prevent any dust or construction fumes to be pushed into the healthcare facility. It in fact pulls it away from it. This can be done by utilizing a negative air machine that has HEPA filters. All of the air that is being pulled will go straight out of an exhaust duct through the window. The space will be the basis for the size of the machine that the contractor will be using. There is an exception to this though especially for those areas that are sterile and will require positive air pressure.
Another important factor when it comes to infection control during a healthcare facility renovation is the closure of return and supply air vents. The hospital’s HVAC systems should always be shut down once a renovation or construction is being done. This will ensure that whatever dust or fumes that the construction project is generating will not circulate all throughout the building.
Infection control during a healthcare facility will also require proper trash and debris removal. This is another factor that should also be considered. One of the most effective procedures when doing this one is by utilizing a trash chute that is connected directly to a dumpster. If a trash chute is not available then it is the contractor that can make use of a covered rolling dumpster.