Swab Testing

Health and safety authority Bureau Veritas has developed a new swab sampling service in response to latest research showing Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces for up to 28 days. 

Giving employers the peace of mind of knowing their workplaces are COVID free, the new offering involves Bureau Veritas’ occupational hygienists swab-testing various surfaces on business sites in line with MDHS 97 – Methods for Sampling Surface Contamination.

Recognising the many challenges businesses face in remaining open and operational when dealing with a potential coronavirus outbreak, the swab sampling service includes a speedy 24hr turnaround time for all samples. Following this, a sample analysis report is issued to businesses within seven working days from the final visit to a site.

Crucially, if traces of the virus are detected, Bureau Veritas can pin-point exactly where and provide accurate recommendations on adapting and improving cleaning practices to help eradicate COVID-19 from the workplace.

The launch of the new swab sampling service comes as latest research shows the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive for up to 28 days on surfaces such as the glass on mobile phones, stainless steel, vinyl and paper banknotes.

Joe Marais, occupational hygiene team leader at Bureau Veritas said: “Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and new research showing the COVID-19 virus can survive almost a month on certain surfaces, employers face an ever-escalating pressure to prove their premises are clean and COVID free.

“To support businesses in demonstrating that reassurance, we’ve developed our new tried and tested swab sampling service, which as restrictions continue to tighten, will be essential to keeping many sites open, operational and safe enough for employees, visitors and customers to use. We’d encourage all businesses, whatever the sector, to make use of this critical new service.”

According to Bureau Veritas, one of the main areas to consider when managing coronavirus risks in the workplace includes heating and the movement of indoor air.

Joe adds: “Reducing the amount of fresh air in workplaces and using air handling units to manage internal climates brings an increased risk of retaining COVID-19 within the environment. Therefore, it’s really important that duty holders assess and identify the risk this presents for work surfaces.

“For many sectors, this is still new territory where following best practice via a third party consultancy such as Bureau Veritas provides confidence to employers, their staff and customers during what remains a challenging time for us all.”

As part of its commitment to helping employers navigate the coronavirus pandemic, Bureau Veritas is hosting a free webinar on developing appropriate controls in the workplace. The webinar will be hosted by Joe Marais, covering current issues with Air Handling Units, the risks of air recirculation as well as a panel discussion with Suhail Bakawala from independent laboratory Eurofins. Further details at www.bureauveritas.co.uk.