Ventilation

Ventilation - Yleistä

Ventilation is designed to remove airborne impurities and bring fresh air into workspaces. Ventilation can also be used to control ambient temperatures, humidity and airflow. This is done by conditioning air as it enters, exits or circulates in the workspace.

Workspaces that are prone to airborne impurities or high temperatures usually require a mechanical ventilation system to ensure adequate airflow and healthy indoor air.

Mechanical ventilation systems must be kept in working order.

Ventilation needs to be designed with care

It is the employer’s duty to prevent their employees from being exposed to any airborne impurities (such as dust, smoke, gas and steam) or chemical agents that could pose a risk of poisoning, hypoxia or other similar danger. Ventilation and the adequacy of healthy indoor air are especially important in confined spaces such as tanks, tunnels and ships.

The quality of indoor air and the adequacy of ventilation are assessed taking into account both the individuals working in the space and other consumers of oxygen, such as vehicles, machinery and animals. Workspaces must be large enough and have enough capacity to provide at least 10 cubic metres of air per worker. No more than 3.5 metres of the capacity can be attributable to the height of the room.

Mechanical ventilation systems must be serviced regularly

Any mechanical ventilation systems in a workplace must be kept in working order and cleaned at regular intervals. Faults in the ventilation system must not put employees’ health at risk. If necessary, the ventilation system must be equipped with a fault monitoring system.

There are also several construction regulations that relate to indoor air and ventilation. The most important regulation concerning indoor air and ventilation in buildings in Finland is Part D2 of the Ministry of the Environment’s National Building Code of Finland: Indoor Climate and Ventilation of Buildings (Regulations and Guidelines 2012). It lays down, among other things, guideline values for air flow rates, air movement and sound levels in different kinds of workspaces and provides definitions for various ventilation-related concepts.

Ventilation - Lainsäädäntö

 

Legislation

Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002)

  • Section 33 – Ventilation of workplaces and volume of workrooms
  • Section 37 – Airborne impurities

Government Decree on Safety and Health Requirements in Workplaces (577/2003, in Finnish)

  • Section 9 – Capacity and ventilation of workspaces