Why digital ventilation inspection is central to workplace safety
Lab+Life Scientist Magazine – October 2020
Even in the post-pandemic world, ventilation systems in office buildings and other facilities will remain an important part of workplace safety. Digital ventilation inspection is here to ensure their safety.
Ventilation systems are crucial to transferring potentially toxic fumes and circulating air for any facility. Often, these key pieces of building infrastructure are overlooked when it comes to inspections. This raises many safety issues not only regarding their proficiency in circulating air, but also their structural integrity. Digital ventilation inspection allows inspection personnel to take advantage of international standards such as ISO 16890, Air filters for general ventilation and other HVAC manuals or guides to keep ventilation systems safe and secure in the workplace.
Air filtration and general ventilation systems often have highly technical specifications and requirements, meaning it is important to understand how they work and how they can be inspected to prevent issues. The general classification system is based on particulate matter efficiency (ePM). The International Organization for Standards (ISO) outlines test procedures and specifies general requirements for assessing and marking filters in ISO 16890. The standard’s overview of how these systems should be documented is best married with a digital/paperless ventilation inspection solution.
Digital ventilation inspection can use mobile technology and simple inspection processes to gain insightful and valuable data that is sometimes unattainable through the regular pen and paper inspection process. By using features such as the device camera and touchscreen to take pictures and annotate, make drawings or scan barcodes/RFID, mobile devices give users a dramatically quicker way to gain data. Inspectors and HVAC technicians can likewise make use of standards such as ISO 16890 in the inspection checklist, adding specific parts that will demonstrate compliance with these industry guidelines.
Adding such regulations and guidelines can also be done as reference material so that the inspector can carry all the information necessary to inspect, maintain and service, and also deal with unexpected inspection happenings. This could be an inspection guideline not commonly needed, a particular failsafe which is noted in a manual or a facility-specific set-up that has other support information. All these vital pieces of information can be attached digitally to inspection checklists as reference material.
There are also other reasons as to why digital ventilation inspection is transforming the safety of the workplace. Aside from being up to date with regulations and compliance, digital ventilation inspection gives an inspector the possibility to inspect using speech-to-text services and dictating features. As most ventilation systems tend to be located in the ceilings or on rooftops, inspections are simply done while looking up — which, when you’re taking notes and recording data, isn’t user friendly. Using speech-to-text to record data thus means that inspectors can make notes while looking at a system directly.
Other bonuses of digital ventilation inspection include the insightful analysis made possible via the paperless solution web portal or other computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS). This congregates the data from all inspections and checks into assets across your business. This means that the digital ventilation inspection can be part of all your other inspections that you may carry out. As everything is categorised by asset, the digital ventilation inspection solution allows different personnel to stay in form and likewise make better business decisions that make the workplace safer.