education.vic.gov.au

Policy last updated

3 February 2023

Scope

  • Schools

Date:
September 2021

Policy

Policy

This policy describes how to ventilate indoor school spaces, maximise the use of outdoor spaces and operate air purifiers to reduce the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission (including COVID-19).

Summary

  • Schools can reduce the risk of transmission of airborne infectious diseases (including COVID-19) through the way they use outdoor and indoor spaces.
  • To reduce the risk of catching or passing airborne infectious diseases to others, schools:
    • are required to maximise fresh air flow into all indoor spaces (for example, by opening windows and doors)
    • should increase the use of outdoor learning areas wherever practicable
    • should use air purifiers alongside natural and mechanical ventilation
    • should minimise the use of indoor space that can’t be ventilated with outside air.
  • Schools should implement measures for a safe and comfortable learning environment (for example, considering thermal and noise comfort) with ventilation strategies in place.
  • Staff who move or lift air purifiers must follow the occupational health and safety measures in this policy to minimise the risk of injury. Refer to the Guidance tab.
  • Resources for schools, including printable fact sheets and a poster to display in classrooms and other school spaces, are available on the Resources tab.

Details

Airborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes small enough to be discharged from an infected person via coughing, sneezing, laughing and close personal contact or aerosolization of the microbe. The discharged microbes remain suspended in the air on dust particles, respiratory and water droplets. Illness is caused when the microbe is inhaled or contacts mucus membranes or when secretions remaining on a surface are touched.

Schools can reduce the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission through increasing ventilation of indoor spaces, reducing the use of spaces that can’t be ventilated with fresh air and using air purifiers to assist ventilation, particularly in areas which pose a higher transmission risk.

Ventilation and air purification are important strategies in the broader suite of controls to reduce the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission in school settings including vaccination, physical distancing, good hygiene, cleaning and mask use, but should not be considered in isolation of these other measures.

There are 2 ways indoor air quality can be improved:

  • ventilation – bringing in outside air by opening windows and doors or by using mechanical systems (such as air-conditioning systems and fans)
  • air purification – using air purifiers to filter the air.

Where practical, schools can also reduce the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission by using outdoor learning areas in place of indoor learning areas.

The level of transmission risk varies between different types of indoor school spaces, as do the most effective strategies for reducing this risk. Refer to Room risk ranking and management strategies for more information.

Ventilation

Schools are strongly encouraged to maximise fresh air flow into all indoor spaces. Ensuring adequate ventilation is one of the most effective measures to keep schools safe. The most effective strategies for using ventilation to improve indoor air quality will vary depending on the room and the equipment available to the school. If inclement weather does not permit open windows and doors all day, consider opening them intermittently for short durations, for example for 10 minutes every hour.

Refer to Using ventilation to improve indoor air quality under the Guidance tab for further information.

Window maintenance

Schools are strongly encouraged to fix windows that are designed to be opened but do not open, through their general maintenance processes. This should be funded by a school’s Student Resource Package maintenance funding.

In some instances, schools are required to balance the requirement to bring in outside air with the risk of students absconding from their learning spaces. Schools are encouraged to consider and implement solutions such as installing fly screens for windows, mesh security doors for doorways, and indoor safety gates. Speak to your regional provision and planning manager for further advice and assistance on window maintenance.

Use air purifiers alongside natural and mechanical ventilation

Air purifiers complement ventilation methods by removing infectious particles from the air. They do not replace other ventilation methods. Air purifiers filter existing air within a space and do not bring in outside air.

Air purifiers should be used alongside open windows and doors and with mechanical ventilation in operation. Additionally, schools are strongly encouraged to use air purifiers if it is not possible to keep doors and windows open all day (for example, due to inclement weather).

For information about the operation, placement, cleaning and maintenance of department-supplied air purifiers, refer to Operation and placement of air purifiers.

Other strategies to reduce airborne infectious disease transmission

Maximise the use of outdoor learning areas

Alongside the use of various ventilation methods, schools are strongly encouraged to conduct outdoor learning whenever and as much as practicable, noting that there may be less opportunity in winter months.

Identify spaces within your school that could be used for outdoor learning. These spaces could be areas that are already sheltered and shaded. The use of this space could be rotated between classes.

Consider options to set up different spaces, depending on weather conditions.

Aerosolised disinfectants

The use of products which introduce particles into the air to ‘disinfect’ indoor air, such as gels, liquids, spray bottles, aerosols or vaporisers, is not recommended.

There can be allergen concerns with the introduction of particles, chemicals or oils into the air. Aerosols are not a proven method to reduce the risk of transmission of airborne infectious disease in indoor environments.

Definitions

Air purifier
An air purifier is an indoor portable device that filters domestic or industrial air, and which is used primarily to remove pollution, improve air quality, and purify the air.

Ventilation
The circulation of fresh air.

Relevant legislation

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004External Link – section 21(1) requires an employer to, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain for employees of the employer a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.


Guidance

Guidance

This guidance advises on the operation and placement of air purifiers and outlines possible risks of catching or passing airborne infectious diseases in particular types of school spaces.

This guidance recognises that most learning spaces rely largely on natural ventilation. During winter it is difficult to maintain a comfortable learning environment with natural ventilation.

This guidance has been developed in consultation with the Department of Health, Samsung and ventilation experts.

This guidance contains the following chapters:

  • Using ventilation to improve indoor air quality
  • Operation and placement of air purifiers
  • Maintenance and cleaning of air purifiers
  • Room risk ranking and management strategies

If you have any further questions about the operation and placement of air purifiers, please contact airpurifiers@education.vic.gov.au


Using ventilation to improve indoor air quality

Using ventilation to improve indoor air quality

This chapter describes various strategies schools can use to improve air quality in indoor spaces using ventilation.

Ventilation using windows and doors

Schools can use the following strategies to improve ventilation using windows and doors:

  • Keep all windows, doors, and vents open as much of the day as possible (even when unoccupied), if practicable.
  • In inclement weather consider opening windows and doors at intervals for short durations only – for example, in between classes, including while using air purifiers.
  • Keep windows and door openings clear of any obstruction to air flow.
  • Open windows and doors on multiple sides of the room to draw air through a space. This is called cross ventilation and is more effective than if windows and doors are only open on one side of the room (single-sided ventilation).
  • Where windows open at the top and bottom, open both parts.
  • Open windows and vents that are higher or towards the ceiling during poor or windy weather.

Ventilation using air conditioning systems

Schools can use the following strategies to improve ventilation using air-conditioning systems:

  • Some schools have a centrally controlled mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning system that brings in outside air. Where installed, these systems should be set to use as much outside air as possible. These systems should run during school hours, including when rooms are unoccupied and, ideally 2 hours before and after the use of a space.
  • A large proportion of air conditioning systems in schools are split systems which use recirculated air and do not bring in outside air. However, split systems can improve natural ventilation by increasing air movement within a room. As such split systems should be used alongside open windows and doors to bring in outside air.
  • Air conditioning filters should be maintained according to maintenance plans, checked and cleaned regularly.

Fans to assist air movement

Schools can use the following strategies to improve ventilation using fans:

  • Increase air movement by turning on fans when windows and doors are open.
  • Pedestal or desk fans must be used on an oscillating function (not continually pointing in one direction).
  • Exhaust fans are to be used as much as possible (for example in kitchens, bathrooms and laboratories).
  • Split system air conditioners can be used to assist with air movement within the room, even when not required for thermal comfort.

Demand-controlled ventilation systems

Some air conditioning and ventilation systems operate based on demand – this means they are responsive to indoor conditions, such as indoor temperature or occupancy. For example, some systems automatically open windows if a CO2 monitor detects a reading reaching a pre-set threshold or turn on fans at a certain room temperature.

Demand controlled air conditioning and ventilation systems should be disabled. Mechanical ventilation systems should be operated on high, irrespective of demand, to maximise the amount of air going in to a room.

Poor outside air quality

Schools are to follow the below advice in instances of poor outside air quality, such as bushfire smoke or thunderstorm asthma:

  • Monitor the VicEmergencyExternal Link and the EPA AirWatchExternal Link sites for risk warnings and advice on events that may reduce outside air quality.
  • Take action to protect students during periods of poor outside air quality.
  • Take steps to close windows and doors, set air conditioners to re-circulate air and use air purifiers.
  • Refer to Air Quality – Impact of Smoke on Health for further information on how to minimise potential health risks from poor air quality.

Implement measures for a comfortable learning environment

Learning spaces are places where health and safety measures are practiced and are also places where people need to comfortably learn and work. Factors that affect a comfortable environment include temperature and noise levels.

To maintain thermal comfort (or a comfortable room temperature), schools are encouraged to use heating and air conditioning systems – even when windows and doors are open. These can be systems that bring in outside air, or only use recirculated air. Schools can also introduce measures such as flexible uniform and seating arrangements to ensure thermal comfort is maintained.

Refer to the Noise Management Policy for more information about the risks associated with excessive and strategies to manage these risks.


Operation and placement of air purifiers

Operation and placement of air purifiers

The department has provided schools with Samsung AX7500 (also known as the AX90T) model air purifiers. This advice relates to this specific model of air purifier (device).

Each device contains a user manualExternal Link , which should be kept in the same room as each unit for reference. A short set-up guide (PDF)External Link can also be found on the Samsung website.

The air purifiers contain high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. HEPA filters can help filter airborne viruses, bacteria, and particulate matter from bushfire or hazard reduction burn smoke.

Air purifiers do not eliminate airborne infectious disease transmission but, combined with other interventions in schools – including vaccination, physical distancing, good hygiene, masks and cleaning, they create a safer school environment.

Each air purifier is designed to filter an area of 90 m2. If a space is larger than 90 m2 multiple air purifiers should be used based on the total area of the space (for example, if a space is 150 m2, 2 air purifiers should be used – if a space is 250 m2, 3 air purifiers should be used).

Advice on placing the air purifiers within a room to maximise efficiency:

Air purifiers draw air in from the front, meaning they can be placed near a wall or in a corner.

  • The air purifiers require at least 20 to 30 cm space around the sides and the back.
  • Place the devices away from open doors and windows.
  • Place the devices in areas of low air movement – this is often the opposite side of the room to open windows or doors.
  • Do not place objects on top of the device.
  • Place the air purifiers away from audio/visual media as they can be affected by video or audio noise.
  • Use one air purifier per 90 m2 space. An additional air purifier should be used with each additional 90 m2.

Recommended advice for using the air purifiers:

  • Turn air purifiers on ‘high’ fan speed throughout the day and ideally 2 hours after a room is occupied.
  • Use timers to manage daily routines.
  • Use air purifiers together with open windows.
  • Continue to promote air movement through available means such as fans and air-conditioners even when the air-purifier is in use.
  • If noise is affecting learning, turn the air purifier fan down from the high setting.
  • Ensure the child lock function on the air purifier is activated when students are in the room.
  • Practice good hand hygiene after touching the device.
  • Refer to the user manual for all information about the safe operation of the air purifiers.
  • Do not leave air purifiers operating at schools overnight. This can result in units setting off school alarm systems.

Location of air purifiers within a school

Schools need to consider how air purifiers can support the unique characteristics of their existing infrastructure and school community. Purifiers are portable and can be moved to accommodate operational changes within the school.

Schools have been provided with a sufficient number of air purifiers to cover all classrooms and other high-risk spaces. Room risk ratings can be found at: Room risk rating and management strategies.

Schools should consider placing air purifiers in rooms that:

  • have limited opportunity for other forms of ventilation (for example, rooms with windows that cannot be opened or rooms where the only openable windows and/or door outside are on one side of the room)
  • have occupants that are unable to maintain physical distancing easily
  • will be used for activities that require higher levels of exertion, no mask-wearing, or increased aerosol projection, such as music, singing, sport, or drama
  • are used by a vulnerable student or staff cohort, including those who are immune compromised or have underlying health conditions, or are not able to utilise other interventions such as masks, physical distancing, and/or vaccination
  • are required to hold a higher number of people for extended periods.

Safe movement of air purifiers

The air purifiers provided to schools are portable and can be moved by staff.

School staff who physically move or lift air purifiers must take steps to manage the associated OHS risks, including when they are delivered and being moved around the school. These steps must include:

A Manual handling awareness training presentation (PPTX)External Link is also available to support staff to familiarise themselves with safe manual handling techniques.

For more general guidance about manual handling refer to the Movement of air purifiers – training and guidance section of the Resources tab.

School purchase of air purifiers

Schools can purchase additional air purifiers. When choosing the type of air purifier, schools should consider the specifications required for an air purifier to be effective in the intended space, including having capacity sufficient for the room size.

Consider the following factors before purchasing and deploying air purifiers:

  • Only air purifiers equipped with a HEPA filter are recommended. Air purifiers with a lower grade filter may not be as efficient in removing airborne viral particles or not remove these at all.
  • The size of the air cleaner device needs to be appropriate to the space it will be used in.
  • Consider the effectiveness of the device in removing particulates in the air. The clean air delivery rate measurements are based on the space and volume of clean air produced.

Air purifiers that use UV or ionisers are not recommended. UV aerosol disinfection can pose potential health risks and the installation of such devices requires extensive professional consultation.

Additional detail on considerations when purchasing air purifiers can be found in Department of Health guidance: COVID-19: Ventilation principles and strategies to reduce aerosol transmission in community and workplace settingsExternal Link .


Maintenance and cleaning of air purifiers

Maintenance and cleaning of air purifiers

Continued use of air purifiers and the maintenance and cleaning of air purifiers is a key part of keeping schools safe and is part of the regular maintenance of school assets. Schools should include air purifier maintenance and cleaning in their School Maintenance Plan.

Schools are responsible for the general maintenance and cleaning of their air purifiers. Contract cleaners will not clean the device.

There are 3 elements of the purifier that require cleaning and/or replacement:

  • Surface
  • Pre-filters
  • HEPA filters

Maintenance or cleaning should be undertaken in a well-ventilated space. Single-use surgical masks and gloves are recommended to be worn when cleaning pre-filters or replacing HEPA filters, for general hygiene purposes. Hand hygiene should be performed after cleaning and maintenance.

No action is required to the cleaning of the pre-filter or replacement of the HEPA filter if confirmed infectious disease cases have been in the room where an air purifier has been running.

Air purifiers require testing and tagging as per the guidance on PAL. Refer to the Testing and Tagging of Electrical Equipment Policy.

Surface cleaning

Schools should clean the surface of the device regularly in line with the manufacturer’s guidance. Contractor cleaners will treat the air purifiers in a similar way to other electrical items, which normally includes dusting.

Cleaning the pre-filters

Each air purifier has 2 pre-filters which are visible once the front cover of the device is unclipped.

The pre-filters are to be cleaned every 5 to 6 weeks when the purifier is being used every weekday (or twice per term). For example, this could be done mid-term and towards the end of term. This is based on the expected use in a school setting. It is different to the recommendation of every 2 weeks in the manufacturer’s manual, which is based on 24/7 use.

Removing the pre-filter does not require tools. The pre-filters clip into the device in front of the HEPA filter. For further information on how to remove the pre-filter for cleaning, please refer to the user manualExternal Link .

There are 3 ways to clean a pre-filter:

  1. Pre-filters can be cleaned with a duster or soft brush to remove dust. This is recommended to be undertaken outside.
  2. Pre-filters can be vacuumed to remove dust. This can be done within the immediate vicinity of the air purifier unit. It is preferable to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
  3. Pre-filters can be washed with water. It is important that pre-filters are completely dry before being re-inserted into the air purifier. To speed up drying time, it is recommended that filters are initially manually dried with an absorbent cloth (such as a microfibre cloth) and left to air dry, away from direct sunlight, before being reinstalled into the device.

Schools can arrange this work at their discretion. Schools may also consider using the following:

  • the current HVAC contractor that cleans and maintains the school’s air-conditioning filters
  • the school maintenance person.

Schools may order additional cleaning with their current cleaning services provider. For more information on funding arrangements please see below.

Replacing the HEPA filter

Each air purifier has 2 HEPA filters which are visible once the front cover of the device is unclipped.

Six replacement HEPA filters per air purifier have been provided to schools. This is expected to cover replacements for approximately 2 years based on the estimated replacement every 6 to 12 months. This will depend on the use case and operating environment of each device.

Replacement of the HEPA filter should occur when the device alerts. Replace both HEPA filters at this time.

No tools are required to replace HEPA filters. They clip into the device behind the pre-filter, which must be removed before replacing the HEPA filter.

Place used HEPA filters in a sealed bag and dispose of in general waste. Used HEPA filters are not recyclable

For further information on how to replace the HEPA filter, please refer to the user manualExternal Link .

Where possible, HEPA filters should be stored in the proper vertical position, as marked on the container. For ease of replacement, it is recommended that replacement filters are stored near their associated air purifier unit.

Funding for maintenance and cleaning of air purifiers

As with the regular maintenance of school assets, school staff do not need to undertake the maintenance and cleaning of air purifiers themselves. Schools can choose to use Student Resource Package (SRP) funding and other school funds.

If a school’s budget and cashflow statement shows insufficient funds for tasks such as cleaning air purifier pre-filters, schools can contact the School Financial Management Support Unit at schools.finance.support@education.vic.gov.au

In managing the financial impact of cleaning air purifiers schools should do the following:

  • review and revise annual budgets to reflect the latest revenue and expenditure projections
  • update the school cashflow budget to align with new budget projections
  • identify funds available to manage any shortfall in existing budgets including:
    • unspent school infrastructure funding including maintenance and annual contracts and essential services funding
    • current year SRP credit surpluses
    • prior-year SRP credit surpluses
    • cash at bank including surpluses from trading and commercial activities
    • re-prioritising funds for planned capital expenditure where capital works have not yet been approved.

Schools should access their operating reserve to support operational expenses, where required.

If the School Financial Management Support Unit establishes that a school cannot meet the cost associated with the maintenance of air purifiers using the above mechanisms, additional funding may be provided.

Damage or theft of air purifiers

For operational issues and faults with air purifiers, call Samsung on 1300 362 603 (then select option 9, option 6). Units provided to schools do not require proof of purchase for servicing. Schools are advised to provide the unit serial number and inform service centres that the unit is part of the Victorian Department of Education and Training rollout. Schools are advised to contact Samsung directly (on the above number) to replace faulty or damaged units under warranty.

In certain circumstances, the department will replace air purifiers that are not covered under warranty. These include some instances of accidental damage or theft.

In the event of theft of an air purifier, schools should report the theft to the police in the first instance. When reporting a stolen air purifier to the department, schools should include a statutory declaration.

To request replacement air purifiers, please complete the air purifier replacement form found in the Resources tab and send to airpurifiers@education.vic.gov.au


Room risk rating and management strategies

Room risk rating and management strategies

This guidance outlines the risk levels of possible airborne infectious disease transmission in the different types of school spaces and contains strategies that schools are recommended to adopt to manage the risks. Schools are encouraged to observe these room-specific risk management strategies in addition to the general risk management strategies outlined in the COVID-19 — School Operations Advice.

These strategies are additional to the ventilation and air purification processes that are detailed in the Policy tab. Windows and doors should be open as much as possible in all rooms.

The department has provided additional air purifiers to schools to cover all higher risk throughout the year.

Higher risk rooms

General purpose classrooms and other group learning spaces

Other learning spaces include:

  • multipurpose learning spaces
  • lecture rooms
  • art/design classrooms
  • drama classrooms
  • home economics classrooms (excluding scullery, pantry, laundry).
Anticipated level of risk

Higher risk

Rationale

Staff and students are in the room for extended periods of time

Other risk management strategies for classrooms
  • Discourage large congregations with close physical contact between students
  • Reduce equipment sharing if feasible and promote hand hygiene (hand sanitiser or washing of hands)
  • Clean and wipe down equipment

Staff rooms

Anticipated level of risk

Higher risk

Rationale

High levels of mixing of staff and reduced mask use when eating

Other risk management strategies for staff rooms
  • Encourage staff to avoid large congregations with close contact when practical
  • Make available surface disinfectant wipes for staff to wipe down tables after use

Student centres

Anticipated level of risk

Higher risk

Rationale

High levels of mixing of students and limited physical distancing

Other risk management strategies for student centres

Discourage large congregations with close physical contact between students

Canteens

Anticipated level of risk
  • Higher risk (indoor canteens)
  • Medium risk (outdoor canteens)
Rationale

High levels of mixing of students and limited physical distancing

Other risk management strategies for canteens

Use ground markings to promote physical distancing when lining up

Music spaces

Anticipated level of risk

Higher risk

Rationale

Higher risk due to increased aerosol projection

Other risk management strategies for music spaces
  • Encourage students to maintain physical distancing where practical
  • Clean and wipe down shared equipment (for example, keyboards, drums, microphone handles)

Physical education (PE) spaces

Anticipated level of risk
  • Higher risk (indoor PE spaces)
  • Low risk (outdoor spaces)
Rationale

Higher risk due to physical exertion and increased aerosol projection

Other risk management strategies for PE spaces
  • Reduce equipment sharing if feasible and promote hand hygiene (hand sanitiser or washing of hands) before and after PE classes
  • Discourage spitting onto the ground or field

ICT/technology spaces

Anticipated level of risk

Higher risk

Rationale

Staff and students are in the room for extended periods of time

Other risk management strategies for ICT/technology spaces
  • Wipe down keyboards, mouses and touched buttons after each use with disinfectant wipes, do not use spray direct on computers or accessories
  • Spread out computer spaces to enable physical distancing, where possible

Laboratories

Anticipated level of risk

Higher risk

Rationale

Staff and students are in the room for extended periods of time

Other risk management strategies for laboratories

May need to provide appropriate non-alcohol-based hand rub in these settings as alcohol is flammable

Medium risk rooms

Sick bays and first aid rooms

Anticipated level of risk

Medium risk (on the condition the below protocols are met for these spaces)

Rationale

Exposure to illness but with infection control protocols in place

Other risk management strategies for sick bays and first aid rooms
  • The information in the department's advice, Management of students displaying COVID-19 symptoms in education settingsExternal Link (staff login required), sets out a range of health and safety controls to reduce transmission risk when a student is required to isolate at school before being collected by a parent/carer, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff. The door to the isolation area should be closed.
  • Isolation spaces must be left unoccupied for one hour following use, with the door closed to allow aerosols to settle before cleaning and disinfection. If windows or doors open to the outside, these should remain open to increase ventilation of the space.
  • A poster saying ‘do not enter until [time]’ should be placed on the door.

Libraries

Anticipated level of risk

Medium risk

Rationale

High levels of mixing of students, however, there is noise control so less respiratory droplet production

Other risk management strategies for libraries
  • Physical distancing of seats and desk spaces where practical
  • Have hand sanitiser available at the entrance and at the librarian desk to promote hand hygiene

Travel or cloakroom spaces

Anticipated level of risk

Medium risk

Rationale

High levels of mixing of students but for short time periods

Other risk management strategies for travel or cloakroom spaces

Stagger students entering the classroom and using cloakrooms to maintain physical distancing

Reception spaces

Anticipated level of risk

Medium risk

Rationale

Symptomatic students may present unwell in these areas prior to transferring to isolation rooms, but for short periods of time

Other risk management strategies for reception spaces

Add perspex screens in the office/reception area

Offices

Anticipated level of risk

Medium risk

Rationale

Occupants may be in space for extended periods of time, but with greater capacity for physical distancing

Other risk management strategies for offices

Physical distancing of desk spaces where practical

Lower risk rooms

Storerooms

Anticipated level of risk

Lower risk

Rationale

Used for brief periods of time and can be restricted to limit access

Other risk management strategies for storerooms

Physical distancing

Toilets and amenities

Anticipated level of risk

Lower risk

Rationale

Used for short periods of time with less mixing of staff or students

Other risk management strategies for toilets and amenities
  • Ensure that soap dispensers are filled
  • Display posters to promote good hand hygiene
  • Operate exhaust fans during school hours if available
  • Provide hand towels to dry hands (with a bin available) or working hand dryers

Resources

Resources

Factsheets for schools

These factsheets provide information about how, where, and when to use air purifiers. Schools are encouraged to display these factsheets in classrooms and other indoor spaces:

Factsheets for parents

This factsheet provides information schools can give to parents about improving ventilation for school safety.

Improving ventilation for school safety (PDF)External Link

Poster – promoting air flow in our schools

Schools are encouraged to display this sign in classrooms and other school spaces throughout their school:

Movement of air purifiers – training and guidance

School staff can access the Manual Handling eLearning module by searching for ‘manual handling’ on LearnEDExternal Link (staff login required). A Manual handling awareness training presentation (PPTX)External Link is also available to support staff to familiarise themselves with safe manual handling techniques.

Staff can also access and review the guidance for the safe movement of air purifiers by school staff here:

For more general guidance about manual handling by school staff, schools and staff may access the Manual handling guide (DOCX)External Link and Manual Handling Policy on PAL.

The OHS Advisory Service is also available to support schools with tailored risk assessments, and specialised OHS advice in relation to manual handling, including in relation to air purifiers. The OHS Advisory Service can be contacted on 1300 074 715, or by email at safety@education.vic.gov.au

Replacement air purifiers

To request a replacement air purifier in the event of theft or accidental damage, please complete and return the below form to airpurifiers@education.vic.gov.au

Air purifier replacement form (DOCX)External Link

Other supporting resources

  • Management of students displaying COVID-19 symptoms in education settingsExternal Link (staff login required) – contains procedural guidance for the management of students with COVID-19 symptoms. It also explains the types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and outlines the procedures for putting on and removing PPE and setting up isolation areas.
  • Samsung websiteExternal Link – contains further information on the air purifiers being provided to schools by the Department (Samsung AX7500 model). User manuals for these devices will be delivered to schools with each device, but schools can also download a copy here.
  • Samsung technical support – for operational issues and faults with air purifiers, call Samsung on 1300 362 603 (then select option 9, option 6). Units provided to schools do not require proof of purchase for servicing. Schools are advised to provide the unit serial number and inform service centres that the unit is part of the Victorian Department of Education and Training rollout. Schools are advised to contact Samsung directly (on the above number) to replace faulty or damaged units under warranty.

Reviewed 18 October 2022