On January 2, 2014 seven of our carpenters completed the ICRA training, making Epic Management, Inc. the first company outside of the Carpenters Local to complete the training. ICRA, standing for Infection Control Risk Assessment, refers to the control of infections related to construction in a health care facility. It is essential for minimizing risks of acquiring or transmitting infections and protecting the lives of everyone at the project site.
The Construction ICRA Best Practices course teaches awareness of hazards, including asbestos, lead, mold, silica, and other materials, as well as blood-borne pathogens and other hospital-specific concerns. Trainees learn how to identify and classify work areas to best minimize risks, illness, and injury. To achieve ICRA compliance it’s important for contractors to understand the risks involved. For example, a contractor must be aware of the infection control and indoor air quality issues involved with healthcare construction. Construction disrupts air flow patterns and generates dust that can be fatal to some patients. Dust can move through the HVAC system and elevator shafts, via vibration, demolition, cable routing, painting or even just tracking in through a lobby area from outside construction. It’s important to practice negative air flow, seal all open ducts and above ceiling spaces, construct physical barriers with gypsum wallboard, melamine panels and plastic sheeting to keep dust in and people out, protect building products from the elements, have a water response plan to know how to shut the water off and secure a qualified drying contractor. By providing education and training to the contractor, he is made the key proponent of infection control improvements throughout the facility in which he is working.
Contactor performance to create an ICRA certified working environment can motivate other hospital departments to improve their ICRA performance and dramatically reduce Aspergillosis rates during construction. The Epic Management team strives to ICRA certify all carpenters working in health care facilities so we can work safely together with all of our clients.