Work environment: ventilation and infection control

Good ventilation while working is important not only for your comfort but also your health and safety, because it impacts on infection control

Ventilation: by law, your employer must provide sufficient fresh or purified air to your workplace

You have a right to fresh or purified air

By law, your employer must provide sufficient fresh or purified air to your workplace to replace stale air, or air that is hot or humid because of processes or equipment. You should not be subject to uncomfortable draughts and, if necessary, you should be able to have your workstation re-sited or screened.

If you feel there is a problem, you are unlikely to be the only one. Talk to your colleagues – or your CSP safety rep if there is one – to decide how to address it with management. 

Become a CSP safety rep

If there isn't one in your workplace, consider becoming a safety rep.


In its guidance on ventilation, the Health and Safety Executive advises employers to discuss the issue with staff, saying: 'Talking with your workers will help you assess the risk and put in effective measures to improve ventilation.'

The HSE guidance on ventilation is general and does not cover infection control.  

Infection control

The Covid-19 pandemic focused much attention on infection control. While some government rules brought in during the pandemic have now been dropped, CSP advice is still applicable to infection control in general:

The NHS Staff Council has also updated its workplace health and safety standards criteria (section R) to protect staff during a pandemic.

Last reviewed: