What The Construction Industry Needs to Know About ICRA in a Healthcare Setting

December 27, 2018   |    Like this? Share it.

ICRA construction in healthcare

Proper containment is essential to Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) and maintaining a safe construction site while working within a healthcare facility.  Every crew member must go into the project with a solid understanding of ICRA to establish and maintain appropriate containment.

Construction workers must be able to:

  • Understand what ICRA is
  • Have a thorough knowledge of infection control and best practices
  • Know the difference between hospital construction and regular commercial construction
  • Be aware of hazards unique to healthcare construction
  • Know the risk level of a work site or activity prior to beginning the project
  • Develop the ICRA plan
  • Know ICRA construction best practices (barriers, negative air pressure, disinfection, etc..)

With this demand on workers, it’s vital to have a containment system for infection control that deploys quickly, meets ICRA Class IV standards, is durable, aesthetically pleasing, easily cleanable, and isolates the impacted environment. The STARC temporary wall system provides workers with a containment system that is designed for healthcare renovation settings. It’s safe, reusable, can be made airtight, is easily disinfected, and serves as the ideal containment solution. The system is deployed and highly praised by some of the most discerning contractors and healthcare facilities in the country.

The CDC’s Role in Healthcare Construction

The CDC requires healthcare facilities to perform an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) before any renovation, construction or repair project. The ICRA Class IV designation states that hospitals must “construct barriers to prevent dust and dangerous pathogens from entering patient care areas and ensure that barriers are impermeable to fungal spores and in compliance with local fire codes.”

In a healthcare facility, patient care is everything. Unfortunately, thousands fall victim every year to healthcare-associated infections caused by dust stirred up during renovation projects.

ICRA is an essential part of any controlled removal of building materials or construction project within hospital healthcare facilities. Unfortunately, not all workers have the knowledge or the proper training and understanding of the importance of infection control during a project. Hospital construction/renovation differs from regular construction as there is added risk involved for patients and staff members.

Not only is training necessary for building and growing a business that focuses on renovations for healthcare facilities, but workers must have the right equipment and tools to get the job done effectively and safely.

Why Construction Companies Should Properly Implement an ICRA Protocol

Hospitals are the most complex of building types. Each hospital is comprised of a wide range of services and functional units. These include diagnostic and treatment functions, such as clinical laboratories, imaging, emergency rooms, and surgery; hospitality functions, such as food service and housekeeping; and the fundamental inpatient care or bed-related function. This diversity is reflected in the breadth and specificity of regulations, codes, and oversight that govern hospital construction and operations. (WBDG)

As an owner, you are responsible to ensure that your team(s) are properly trained and that all precautions are being taken during their activity as part of the job. When it comes to containment and infection control, there are lives that depend on the proper implementation of an ICRA protocol.

A Containment System Designed Exceed ICRA Class IV Requirements

With this demand on workers, it’s vital to have a containment system for infection control that deploys quickly, meets ICRA Class IV standards, is durable, aesthetically pleasing, easily cleanable, and isolates the impacted environment. The STARC temporary wall system provides workers with a containment system that is designed for healthcare renovation settings. It’s safe, reusable, can be made airtight, is easily disinfected, and serves as the ideal containment solution. The system is deployed and highly praised by some of the most discerning contractors and healthcare facilities in the country.

“STARC provides temporary modular containment to comply with ICRA Class IV standards and allows us to mobilize and demobilize the containment quickly,” said Chip Bowman, the Executive Director of Development & Finance for W.E. Bowman, a commercial construction company. “Cleanliness and ICRA standards are the focal point of why we are using the STARC walls. Infection control is our primary concern. They don’t want our dust in a patient room or an active common area. We are running negative pressure to keep the dust inside and STARC makes that possible.”

“Where we find it effective is ease of assembly and disassembly. Our crews are trying to quickly mobilize or de-mobilize from a construction site. That’s driven by the work we do in medical facilities; it often happens in phases. STARC provides building containment to comply with ICRA standards and allows us to mobilize and demobilize the containment quickly.” (Read Full Case Study)

The STARC panels are specifically designed for healthcare projects that require construction containment. With the proper training and the right tools, maintaining a healthy worksite that minimizes risks to the public, patients, and staff, allows you to confidently complete the work your company was hired to do.

Written by Gearhart and Associates, LLC. for STARC Systems, Inc. Gearhart and Associates are industry experts in Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) training, Infection Control and Prevention Strategies, and Facilities Risk Management.

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