Improving ventilation in indoor workplaces

Friday, 16 April, 2021

Improving ventilation in indoor workplaces

A fact sheet on ‘Improving ventilation in indoor workplaces — COVID-19’ has been developed by Safe Work Australia (SWA).

The fact sheet highlights three steps that will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and improve ventilation in indoor settings:

1. Ensure the HVAC system is working properly

HVAC systems are an essential safety measure for most buildings. It is important they are maintained in accordance with relevant regulations to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

2. Improve ventilation for indoor workplaces

The fact sheet suggests considering adjusting the settings of your HVAC system to help minimise the risk of COVID-19. This includes not recirculating the air or limiting the level of recirculation.

3. Other areas to consider

Crowded and noisy places have a higher risk of generating and spreading respiratory droplets. To improve effective ventilation on a per person basis, it is suggested to, where possible:

  • look at the workplace floorplan and adjust workstations to maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 m between workers
  • stagger workers’ start, finish and break times
  • relocate work tasks to different areas of the workplace, offsite or support workers to work from home
  • provide teams their own dedicated meal areas or break facilities.

The food manufacturing and processing industry has specific directions that should be followed so the SWA has developed other pages related to COVID-19 workplaces safety specifically tailored for the industry. Visit the website for further details.

To download the fact sheet about improving ventilation in indoor settings to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, visit

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