HSE updates guidance on disinfecting premises during the coronavirus pandemic

The Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on disinfecting premises during the coronavirus pandemic has been updated to include joint advice on risks to health that can be created by using walk-through spraying or misting systems.

HSE and public health bodies in England, Wales and Scotland have agreed joint advice on the risks to health from walk-through disinfecting systems for dutyholders considering using them to reduce transmission of coronavirus. 

Spraying people with disinfectants is not recommended under any circumstances (including in a tunnel, cabinet, or chamber). The World Health Organisation has also confirmed that it could be harmful and does not reduce the spread of the virus. This is because transmission is usually through droplets or contact, so the effectiveness of these systems is likely to be minimal.

There is more information from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on potential health risks from whole-body walk-through systems.

The updated page on HSE’s site also has helpful advice on:

  • cleaning premises using fog, mist or UV treatment
  • the law on disinfectants
  • only using HSE-authorised products in the UK
  • supply and manufacture of disinfectants

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