Infection control for courts, administrations and plenary halls
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Scientifically recommended infection control for courts, administrations and plenary halls

High-performance air purifiers and acrylic glass partitions with an aerosol protective edge ensure the ability of courts and administrations to act in times of pandemic

What are public authorities, courts or administrations doing to remain capable of acting in the current coronavirus pandemic? What technical infection control solutions are used, and how, to continue normal operation and enable hearings and meetings in courtrooms and plenary halls? Our best practice example for courts, judicial authorities and municipalities provides information on how staff and citizens can best be protected against an infection with the COVID-19 pathogen.

While suitable high-performance air purifiers such as the TAC V+ of the TAC series or the AirgoClean® One of the AirgoClean® air cleaner series as well as high-performance air purifiers integrated in interior ventilation systems minimize the indirect risk of infection through contamination of the entire room air with SARS-CoV-2 viruses, innovative acrylic glass partitions with aerosol protective edge between the seats enable effective protection against the direct transmission of an infection from person to person through droplets and aerosols.

Scientifically recommended infection control for courts and plenary halls

Due to their outstanding importance, courts, judicial authorities and administrations have to remain capable of acting in the current coronavirus pandemic. Citizens justifiably expect that e.g. livelihood benefits, applications or authorisation procedures are processed. Similarly, access to justice and the enforcement of legal rights must be guaranteed for all citizens, which poses major challenges for criminal procedure law. In order to prevent trials from being cancelled and to ensure that hearings are largely infection-proof, judicial authorities are relying on technical infection control solutions from Trotec to protect the parties to the proceedings, staff and visitors from an infection with the COVID-19 pathogen SARS-CoV-2.

One proponent of these technical solutions in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is the world-renowned aerosol expert Prof. Dr Christian Kähler. The scientist has been researching the generation, spread and evaporation of aerosol particles in space for more than 25 years at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. Commissioned by Trotec, Prof. Kähler has researched a synchronized protection concept for judicial authorities and courts ensuring that the litigants and administrative staff are reliably protected against an infection with the coronavirus in closed rooms. The study results confirm that the combined use of TAC high-performance air purifiers and innovative acrylic glass partitions with aerosol protective edge greatly reduces the risk of infection in courtrooms and hearing rooms.

The protection concept for courts and administrations is based on three essential elements:

The protection concept for courtrooms is based on four essential elements:

1. Partitions with an aerosol protective edge for separating breathing zones
Prosecutors, judges, defence lawyers, witnesses, the jury and, of course, the defendant(s) – during a hearing, a large number of people are present in the courtroom, despite tightened social distancing measures to tackle COVID-19. Transparent protective screens between the seats of these people sitting opposite or next to each other prevent the parties from becoming infected with the COVID-19 pathogen over short distances through droplets or aerosol particles released when breathing, talking, coughing or sneezing. The crystal-clear partitions with an aerosol protective edge provide reliable protection against larger droplets and also prevent exhaled aerosols from overcoming the partition and floating to the adjacent seat.

2. High-performance air purifiers reduce the viral load in the room air to almost zero
The scientific community agrees: the main carriers of the COVID-19 pathogen are virus-laden aerosol particles in the room air entering the body via respiration. By use of suitable high-performance air purifiers such as the TAC V+ of the TAC series or the AirgoClean® One air cleaner, these tiny particles (0.1 – 5 micrometres) are reliably removed (99.995 %) from the room air. Trotec air cleaners filter the room air with a constantly high air and filter performance, thus minimizing the risk of an indirect infection, since the airborne viral load is kept at a permanently low level. Intense shock ventilation is no longer necessary. As a result, the courtrooms remain consistently warm and ventilation is only required if the CO2 level is too high, which can cause fatigue during sessions lasting several hours and affect the ability to concentrate. Ventilation can be done during the breaks in order to exchange the stale room air for fresh air.

3. Medical masks for safe moving around in the building
Medical face masks or FFP2/N95/KN95 masks are to be worn in all areas of the building that are not filtered by use of room air cleaners and where employees, civil servants and citizens move around freely. Particle measurements with laser measurement technology prove that, compared to homemade face coverings, medical masks provide a significantly higher level of protection against droplets and aerosol particles, as these are filtered out of the air current more reliably by the special mask material with filter fleece.

4. CO2 traffic light for controlled airing behaviour
Particularly during longer sessions, "fresh air" is needed in addition to a recovery break to prevent symptoms of fatigue and an impairment of the ability to concentrate due to excessive CO2 levels. In addition, the CO2 content in the room air is a good indicator of high aerosol concentrations and thus a suitable means to assess the risk of infection. Using the convenient air quality monitor BQ30, you can always keep an eye on the CO2 room air concentration. If required, the room air quality can be improved by supplying outdoor air.

Functional principle of the acrylic glass shield with an all-round aerosol protective edge

The all-round aerosol protective edge of the acrylic glass shield from Trotec ensures that the aerosol particle stream swirls around the edge. As a result, the aerosol particles remain in the area of the infected person for a longer time and mix with the air before they are diluted and separated by the room air cleaner. When aerosol particles hit a protective screen that is NOT equipped with a protective edge, the particles will flow unhindered over the edge of the screen. This allows the potentially infectious aerosol particles to spread to the adjacent workplace.

TAC V+ air cleaner from Trotec: scientifically proven effectiveness against COVID-19

The TAC V+ is the world's first mobile room air cleaner on the market that has been explicitly developed to filter out virus-carrying aerosol particles in interior spaces! For this purpose, the air cleaner TAC V+ ensures a quick and highly effective reduction of the viruses in the room air and in this way effectively neutralizes the risk of an airborne coronavirus infection directly at the installation site.

It was designed in particular with a view to the specific requirements in medium-sized and large rooms such as school classrooms, office spaces or gastronomy spaces. This is why the mobile carriage design ensures large air volumes combined with high versatility. Set up, reposition, adjust – all in next to no time, always exactly where the TAC is needed.

Fig. 1a: Conventional seating arrangement in a courtroom. The audience is seated too closely and none of the people in the room are protected by means of protective screens and an air cleaner.
Conventional seating arrangement in a courtroom
Fig. 1b: Recommended in the protection concept: The audience is sitting further apart. The people in the courtroom are protected by protective screens and an air cleaner.
Recommended in the protection concept: The people in the courtroom are protected by protective screens and an air cleaner.

Implementation of the hygiene concept in courtrooms

The minimum distances defined in the applicable coronavirus protection order are to be observed in order to achieve the best possible protection against a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The available space must be optimally used and the distances and audience seats adapted accordingly. The current occupational safety and health rules require that, if the minimum distances and occupation rules cannot be complied with, at least medical face masks are to be worn.

Positioning of acrylic glass partitions in courtrooms

The partitions with an all-round protective edge are installed between parties to the proceedings sitting next to or opposite each other (fig. 1b).

Positioning of the TAC or AirgoClean One high-performance air purifier

The room air cleaner can be positioned anywhere in courtrooms sized up to 80 m². For larger rooms, the number of air cleaners has to be adapted to the room volume to be filtered. Due to their low noise level, Trotec's air cleaners for virus filtration do not affect trials and hearings. The volumetric flow of the room air cleaner must be at least six times the room volume. Whenever required or during breaks, the volumetric flow of the device can be set to maximum output for a short time. Additionally, we recommend airing the room for a short time to reduce the CO2 concentration. This does not impair the filter performance of the air cleaner.

Interval for automatic filter decontamination

To extend the lifetime of the H14 HEPA filter, the high-performance air purifiers of the TAC series come with a unique thermal decontamination function. We recommend carrying out thermal filter decontamination once a week outside business hours. The time for thermal decontamination can be programmed for the TAC series air cleaners.

Fig. 2a: Typical setup of conference tables no longer recommended in times of pandemic.
Setup of tables in a conference room not recommended
Fig. 2b: Positioning of air cleaners and protective screens recommended in the protection concept for a U-shaped table setup.
Positioning of air cleaners and protective screens recommended in the protection concept for a U-shaped table setup.

Installation in administration meeting rooms

For meetings of council boards and works committees, district councils and other bodies in conference and meeting rooms, a U-shaped arrangement of tables is recommended (see fig. 2b).

Transparent protective screens with an all-round edge must be installed between the seats to minimize the risk of direct infections. The air cleaner should be positioned in the middle of the table arrangement to ensure optimum protection against an indirect infection. To improve the room air, the CO2 concentration should be permanently monitored with a particle measuring device BQ30 in order to supply outdoor air as required. Intense ventilation with a strong decrease in temperature is no longer necessary, since the viruses are removed by the air cleaner.

FFP2/3 masks must be worn on all corridors inside the building as these premises cannot be secured otherwise. Simple face masks and surgical masks do not provide sufficient protection against aerosols.

Fig. 3a: Conventional setup of tables in an office. The desks are too close to each other and the employees are not protected by means of protective screens and an air cleaner.
Conventional setup of tables in an office. The desks are too close to each other and the employees are not protected by means of protective screens and an air cleaner.
Fig. 3c: Conventional setup of office tables in front of walls. The employees are sitting in a row too close to each other and are not protected by means of protective screens and an air cleaner.
Conventional setup of office tables in front of walls
Fig. 3b: Table setup recommended in the protection concept. The tables are positioned further apart and the employees are protected by means of protective screens and an air cleaner.
Setup of desks recommended in the protection concept. The tables are positioned further apart and the employees are protected by means of protective screens and an air cleaner.
Fig. 3d: Tables set up in front of walls as recommended in the protection concept. The employees are protected by protective screens and an air cleaner.
Tables set up in front of walls as recommended in the protection concept. The employees are protected by protective screens and an air cleaner.

Implementation of the hygiene concept in office spaces and at office workstations

When arranging the workstations, the minimum distances should be observed in order to achieve the best possible protection against a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The available space must be optimally used and the distances and walking routes adapted accordingly. If rooms are used by several people at the same time, ten square metres must be available for each person. The current occupational safety and health rules require that, if the minimum distances and occupation rules cannot be complied with, at least medical face masks are to be worn.

Positioning of acrylic glass partitions between the employees

The partitions with an all-round protective edge are installed between people sitting next to or opposite each other (fig. 3b/3d).

Positioning of the TAC or AirgoClean One high-performance air purifier

The air cleaner can be positioned anywhere in rooms sized up to 80 m². For larger rooms, the number of air cleaners has to be adapted to the room volume to be filtered. Due to their small dimensions and footprint, Trotec's air cleaners for virus filtration do not affect business operations. The volumetric flow of the room air cleaner must be at least six times the room volume. Whenever required or after business hours, the volumetric flow of the device can be set to maximum output for a short time. Additionally, we recommend airing the room for a short time to reduce the CO2 concentration. Alternatively, the room can be aired during work breaks. This does not impair the filter performance of the air cleaner.

Interval for automatic filter decontamination

To extend the lifetime of the H14 HEPA filter, the high-performance air purifiers of the TAC series come with a unique thermal decontamination function. We recommend carrying out thermal filter decontamination once a week outside office hours. The time for thermal decontamination can be programmed for the TAC series air cleaners.

Fig. 4a: Setup with tables of 4 in the dining area (e.g. canteen) not recommended.
Setup with tables of 4 in the dining area (e.g. canteen) not recommended.
Fig. 4b: Setup with long tables for dining areas recommended in the protection concept. The people are protected by protective screens and an air cleaner.
Setup with long tables for dining areas recommended in the protection concept. The people are protected by protective screens and an air cleaner.

Implementation of the hygiene concept in the company canteen

If possible, small tables should be avoided for lunch (fig. 4a). Instead, we recommend a setup with long tables with a sufficient distance between the people sitting opposite each other (fig. 4b).

Positioning of acrylic glass partitions between the people

Transparent protective screens with an all-round aerosol protective edge must be installed between the people eating. As an alternative, a row of tables can also be positioned against a wall.

Positioning of the TAC or AirgoClean One high-performance air purifier

High-performance air purifiers are required to reduce the risk of indirect infections. Depending on the room situation and size, the use of several devices is recommended to ensure at least a 6-fold room air circulation per hour with highly efficient HEPA air purification in the entire catering area. People working at the serving counters must also be protected by partitions with an aerosol protective edge. Additionally, the staff working at the counters must wear FFP2/3 mask to protect both themselves and the employees to the greatest extent possible.

Interval for automatic filter decontamination

To extend the lifetime of the H14 HEPA filter, the high-performance air purifiers of the TAC series come with a unique thermal decontamination function. We recommend carrying out thermal filter decontamination once a week outside business hours. The time for thermal decontamination can be programmed for the TAC series air cleaners.

BQ30 air quality monitor

Regular ventilation and CO2 traffic lights

In addition to permanent air purification, the employees are required to open the windows in the office premises for shock ventilation from a CO2 value of 1000 ppm. If room air cleaners are used, this is not absolutely necessary for reducing the aerosol concentrations. However, it also helps to prevent high CO2 levels in the room air, which can affect our well-being and ability to concentrate. The CO2 content is monitored as required (depending on the number of employees in the room) using the air quality monitor BQ30.

Infection control for offices and office workstations

All information in the "Guide to protective screens for schools, offices and administration"

Our "Guide to protective screens for authorities, schools, offices and administration", available as a PDF, provides you with comprehensive information on how comparatively easy it is to implement a reliable hygiene concept in public authorities, schools, judicial buildings and courtrooms. The guide contains how-to information for implementing the hygiene concept for closed rooms recommended by Prof. Christian Kähler, scientifically proven facts on the risks of infection indoors, and technical solutions to reduce the risk of infection at office workstations to a minimum. You can download the PDF here:

Click here to go directly to the Guide to protective screens for schools, offices and businesses
Click here to go directly to the scientific protection concept for courts

Court hearings during the pandemic?

Suitable hygiene concepts make courts and authorities capable of acting!

"It is essential that we ensure the ability of the courts and authorities to work even if the number of infections increases", says Ulrich Wessels, President of the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK). "We therefore expect legal policy at federal and state level to improve the technical equipment of the courts and to develop comprehensive hygiene concepts for the judiciary."

Here you can find out how to implement a suitable hygiene concept for courts and authorities and what technical measures are required to reduce the risk of infection during hearings and negotiations.

Click here to find out about a scientific protection concept for courts, administrations and plenary halls, which improves protection against the risk of infection.

The protection concept fulfils the SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety and health standards:

Read an excerpt from the occupational safety and health standards of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs here:

Special technical measures

1. Workplace design
Employees shall keep a sufficient distance (at least 1.5 m) from other persons. Where this is not possible even through work organisation measures, alternative protective measures shall be taken. Transparent partitions are to be installed when there is public traffic and, if possible, also to separate workplaces where there is otherwise no protective distance.

Furthermore, the protection concept does not violate the occupational safety and health rules regarding the room temperature – as is the case with shock ventilation, for example – since the temperature in the classroom does not drop below 19 °C when air cleaners are used.

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Made in Germany - Quality RÖHM acrylic glass plate with all-round, rounded aerosol protection edge and extension foot.

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School protective wall Acrylic glass with aerosol protective edge MEDIUM 1007 x 69 x 688 im Trotec Webshop zeigen

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Office protective wall acrylic glass with aerosol protective edge 1158 x 69 x 688 im Trotec Webshop zeigen

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Made in Germany - RÖHM high quality acrylic sheet with rounded aerosol protective edges, including holes in the protective edge for fixing with metal clips.

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Technical data

Table divider, small

Technical data
General information
  Article number 4.311.000.100
Dimensions
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 1,000
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 500
  Width (protective wall area) [mm] 800
  Height (protective wall area) [mm] 500
Weight
  (packaging excluded) [kg] 11.5

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

Table divider, medium

Technical data
General information
  Article number 4.311.000.105
Dimensions
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 1,200
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 688
  Width (protective wall area) [mm] 1,007
  Height (protective wall area) [mm] 688
Weight
  (packaging excluded) [kg] 12

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

Table divider, office

Technical data
General information
  Article number 4.311.000.110
Dimensions
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 1,158
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 688
Weight
  (packaging excluded) [kg] 12

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

Countertop, S

Technical data
General information
  Article number 4.311.000.150
Dimensions
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 750
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 750
Weight
  (packaging excluded) [kg] 11.5

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

Countertop, M

Technical data
General information
  Article number 4.311.000.151
Dimensions
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 795
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 750
Weight
  (packaging excluded) [kg] 11.5

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

Countertop, L

Technical data
General information
  Article number 4.311.000.152
Dimensions
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 995
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 750
Weight
  (packaging excluded) [kg] 11.5

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

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