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Why biofilm could be the number one hazard in your workplace

Most people are familiar with common workplaces dangers such as slip, trip and fall hazards, electricity, fire and asbestos, with risk assessments now an integral part of most companies’ safety systems to reduce the likelihood of staff suffering illness, injury or even death.

However, how many facilities managers are aware of biofilm, and the danger it poses to building occupants? In this blog we’ll explain what biofilm is and how it can seriously affect the health and wellbeing of staff along with the business’s bottom line.

What is biofilm?

Biofilm is a mixture of bacteria, dust, microbes, mould and other contaminants that forms in a moist environment, adhering to a surface. Research estimates that the sticky, slimy substance is responsible for 60-80 per cent of microbial infections in the human body.

Why does biofilm affect people in the workplace?

The damp environment of an air handling unit (AHU) within a buildings heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system offers an ideal breeding ground for biofilm, with the substance forming on the surfaces of cooling coils and drain pans.

When HVAC systems containing biofilm are in use, contaminants can be carried along in the air stream and inhaled by building occupants. This can lead to a higher incidence of infectious diseases and an increase in absenteeism, which also affects productivity and profitability.

Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions, in partnership with BioZone Scientific International, supplies and installs the innovative CoilCare® HVAC surface disinfection system. This ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) treatment uses ultraviolet-C (UVC) lamps mounted on the surfaces of AHU cooling coils and drain pans to eliminate existing biofilm, with continued use preventing new biofilm building up.

Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions installs the CoilCare® disinfection system in offices, restaurants, food processing facilities, swimming pools and water treatment plants among others. The low-maintenance system can be designed to fit all AHUs containing cooling coils and can be installed in just a few hours at a time that suits you.

For more information on Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions and the CoilCare® system, call Colin Hardman on 07940 544206 or email  

Ultraviolet Solutions

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