OSHA’s Requirements on HEPA Negative Air Machines & Negative Pressure Rooms
Apr 15, 2020
In order to understand how negative pressure rooms use HEPA filtration to assist with airflow, it is important to know what a negative pressure room is. Negative pressure rooms use lower air pressure than your typical hospital room. With this lower air, it allows outside air to move into an environment already secluded from the overall hospital environment. During this current pandemic, these rooms are being identified as those that are “pop-up hospitals” or the blown-up rooms outside hospitals, and healthcare facilities. The purpose of these rooms is to trap potentially harmful particulates within the negative pressure room by preventing the overall internal air from leaving the space.
Rooms that require negative pressure are those isolating patients for infectious diseases, including COVID-19. We would currently be using negative pressure rooms, and HEPA negative air machines to protect those who are residing in healthcare facilities and hospitals but are not affected by COVID-19. If we move all affected pandemic patients into a section that will be forced into negative pressure, then those not affected will not breathe the same air as those who have been affected.
This is an extremely specialized process, as it requires construction to build climate-controlled environments. These environments require a minimum of 12 airflow changes each hour. If these changes do not occur, the desired sustained environment will not last, making airflow consistent throughout the entire facility once again.
Negative pressure rooms require components in order to sustain their environments. These components being:
- HEPA filters on negative air machines to control the particulates passing through the air
- A self-closing entryway with sealing capabilities to allow for the potential germs of opening and closing doors to be removed
- Along with sealed doors come floors, windows, ceilings, and walls
- Ductwork should accompany fans that push air in the desired directions
- Monitoring systems should be installed to inform individuals when pressure adjustments must be made
- Finally, an observation room or environment should be in order to ensure protective gear can be put on by all those entering the facility
OSHA’s requirements for negative air rooms must deal with HEPA negative air machines, as well as the overall awareness of dust suppression machines. To create a negative pressure room, crystalline silica dust particulates must be trapped in this enclosed area. While the airflow within the space must be taken into consideration, the quality of the airflow leaving the space must also be filtered. Using a modular containment system or a poly barrier in your healthcare facility will allow you to attach a portable air scrubber or HEPA negative air machine. These two components will allow you the assistance you need to clean the air in your negative pressure room. It is crucial to use a HEPA filter on a negative air machine due to the particulate capabilities of a HEPA filter.
At Industrial Vacuum, we understand the current pandemic threats. If your hospital or healthcare facility is implementing negative pressure rooms to alleviate the internal airflow at your facility, consider using Industrial Vacuums HEPA filtration initiatives. If you haven’t considered negative pressure rooms, investigate the possibilities your facilities can unleash, and the lives you can save along the way.
Protect your workers, and those they are striving to save by considering HEPA negative air machines in your negative pressure rooms. We at Industrial Vacuum Equipment are here to help and want to help. Please contact us today for more information.