Construction Workplace exposures Construction

COVID-19: CPWR publishes ventilation tips for indoor construction sites

Photo: PictureLake/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — New guidance from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training is aimed at improving ventilation at indoor construction sites that don’t have working heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.

Improved indoor ventilation, according to CPWR, is part of a layered approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, along with physical distancing, respiratory protection, face coverings and reducing the number of workers in an area.


When HVAC systems aren’t operating on a construction site, CPWR recommends the following:

  • Open windows, doors and other passages, when weather permits, to increase fresh outdoor air in a space.
  • Use fans to increase airflow and introduce more outdoor air.
  • Place fans so fresh air is drawn in from one opening in the workspace and exhausted out through another opening on the other side of the space.
  • Place fans so they move air away from workers, to avoid blowing potentially contaminated air from one worker to another.
  • Don’t use pedestal fans because they regularly mix the air rather than provide ventilation.
  • Inspect and change filters in fans and air cleaners per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • When changing filters, handle them as little as possible and wash hands afterward.
  • Consider monitoring carbon dioxide at the worksite, as elevated levels can indicate poor air circulation.

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