Businesses are now at risk of litigation if they do not have adequate Covid air quality practices in place, according to Australian security expert and Secure Your World CEO, Scott Cairns.

“Just as businesses were starting to get back on their feet, they’ve been dealt with yet another blow. However, in this period of Covid, businesses should take note that it is also for their own personal safety, to ensure they improve the quality of air ventilation in their premises to limit the spread of respiratory diseases,” he said.

“Businesses have a responsibility to staff and customers to ensure air quality does not drop to an unsafe level.”

He has outlined his top tips on how to improve air quality in indoor venues.

How good ventilation prevents Covid from spreading

Maintaining good air quality in indoor venues should be a top priority. Covid can spread and infect people when an infected person unknowingly disperses droplets or aerosols containing the virus, Cairns explained.

“If you think about it logically, it’s easy to understand. Crowding a lot of people into a small space is never a good idea in the first place. This is why density limits have been introduced to allow fewer people into any given space. And it’s also why good airflow is required to minimise the build-up of infectious aerosols in indoor venues.”

Using an air quality monitor

Cairns strongly encourages business owners to purchase an indoor air quality monitoring device which measure the level of carbon dioxide in the air and can be used as an indication of how well a place is ventilated.

“As we breathe out, we exhale carbon dioxide. So, if a particular venue does not have good airflow, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air can build up,” Cairns outlined.

“In the case of these air monitors, carbon dioxide levels can be a gauge as to how well the air is circulating in a space, and how likely it is for potentially allowing the spread of Covid. If there isn’t good air flow and an infected person is present, you are more likely to get infected, than if the place were well ventilated.

“One of the most popular models, the ABUS AirSecure carbon dioxide monitor, warns of increased levels of carbon dioxide, temperature and indoor humidity levels.  It comes with a large OLED displace, and LED indicator and has an integrated acoustic alarm. It is supported by a service life of 10 years.”

Staying vigilant as time goes on

Now into the third year of Covid, it’s easy to be lulled into a sense of apathy, but it is not the time to relax the safety practices that were constantly at the forefront in the past two years.

“As we return to our daily routines and habits, it’s more vital than ever that everyone remembers to maintain high levels of hygiene and cleanliness.  Masks must be worn indoors and air ventilation must be a top priority,” Cairns said.

The rise of caution fatigue

Psychologists have termed it ‘caution fatigue’ when people have become less motivated about coronavirus safety, according to Cairns.

“We have become desensitised to the stress and warnings, and disregard the risk of infection and seek out rewarding distractions such as human connections,” he said.

“The brain copes with prolonged fear and stress by lowering its stress response. The brain starts to evaluate whether a stressful situation is real or perceived. It can be a chore to keep wearing masks and sanitising everything because we have normalised COVID.  This is a huge risk especially as Covid keeps mutating.”

Getting back on track

What’s the best motivation to regain focus? To think of others and their safety.

“If you keep in mind the risk that you might be creating for others, you are more likely to stay committed to keeping yourself safe too,” Cairns suggested.

“I strongly recommend businesses to follow government and health guidelines which have been drawn up with public safety in mind. Following these rules will give you the best shot at making it through this new curveball of the pandemic.

“If you are a business owner, it’s important that you take steps to safeguard yourself against potential lawsuits. Simply getting a carbon dioxide monitor is a cheap and easy way for you to get a little extra peace of mind.”