Infection Control

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In Canada an estimated 250,000 patients a year acquire hospital (nosocomial) infections resulting in 8,000 to 12,000 deaths a year. Of these, 5% (or 400 to 600 deaths) are thought to occur as a direct result of construction-related activities. If you administer, manage or maintain a health care facility, you need to be concerned about nosocomial infections – which pose a particular threat to infants, the sick, and the elderly.
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REGULATION: Currently, no regulations within Ontario govern infection control in health care facilities. Industry practice is to follow CSA Standard Z317.13-07, Infection Control during Construction, Renovation, and Maintenance of Health Care Facilities.

WHO: Senior administrators, directors, facility managers, maintenance managers, architects, engineers, infection control professionals.

OBLIGATIONS: Maintain clean conditions within occupied areas of health care facilities to reduce the risk of nosocomial infections. Adequate precautions should be taken to ensure that debris created during construction, renovation and maintenance work is contained and cleaned up in order to protect the health of patients, staff, and visitors.

Important Services
- Pre-construction assessment activities (preventive measures analysis and preparation of
- project specifications)
- Construction site inspection and monitoring
- Environmental-biological air sampling
- Water quality monitoring
- Post-construction assessment
- Assessment, inspection and sampling for water-damaged or mould-contaminated areas
- Education & training

Infection Control

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Safetech Environmental Limited (SEL) has extensive work experience and qualifications to provide the highest quality of Infection Control services that complies with CSA Standard Z317.13-07, “Infection Control during Construction, Renovation, and Maintenance of Health Care Facilities”.

Infection Control services offered by SEL includes the following:

Pre-Construction Activities (Preventive Measures Analysis and Preparation of Project Specifications) – Before construction begins, CSA Z317.13-07 requires that an assessment be made prior to construction to determine the risks posed to occupants so that appropriate control measures can be implemented. SEL can help Infection Control Personnel determine and document the appropriate preventive measure type (I, II, III, or IV) by identifying the population groups at risk and the type of construction activities to be performed. SEL can then provide design and construction documentation that can then be incorporated into the construction project specification, to be employed throughout the life of the construction project.

Construction Site Inspection and Monitoring – Acting as the Design Professional, SEL can take on the responsibility for issuing instructions to the constructor during construction on behalf of the health care facility. SEL can inspect and document site conditions throughout the construction project including continual monitoring of critical parameters (such as air velocity and pressure differentials) as well as periodic testing of air quality.

Environmental-Biological Air Sampling – Section 6.6.2.4 of the CSA Standard indicates that “the total particulate and fungal spore concentrations measured in the construction area after construction and in the patient care areas during or after construction shall not exceed pre-construction concentrations”. Our familiarity with current sampling and analytical techniques and ability to properly interpret results ensures that in instances where biological air sampling is requested or recommended that it will provide a benefit to the overall effectiveness of the construction project.

Water Quality Monitoring – During construction and renovation projects, water systems are often disrupted. Potable water distribution systems can then become contaminated with microorganisms (including Legionella bacteria species) when the water supply is restored. SEL can provide sampling services for the detection of Legionella bacteria, interpret analytical results and provide documentation of these activities when it is determined that sampling is required.

Post-Construction Assessment – After construction work is complete, SEL personnel can perform a final inspection to ensure that the construction area is thoroughly cleaned. As a requirement of CSA Z317.13-07, the construction area and all adjacent areas are to be tested for air quality (including temperature, relative humidity and volatile organic compounds) before the construction area is occupied. SEL can properly sample and document that appropriate air quality conditions exist prior to occupancy.

Assessment, Inspection & Sampling for Water-Damaged or Mould-Contaminated Areas – For areas within health care facilities where water damage has occurred or is detected, thorough investigations of the area are required prior to any construction. If mould growth is discovered, additional safety precautions may be required to be implemented. SEL has extensive experience and expertise in performing such assessments.

Education & Training – Educating health care facility employees (whether it be administrators, facility managers, medical and nursing staff, or maintenance personnel) and others involved in construction projects (including architects, engineers and constructors) is important for successful risk management and ultimately for the successful completion of construction projects. SEL can perform training for any of these groups that reviews all facets of infection control activities prior to, during, and after construction.

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