Why ICRA Saves Lives

Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) standard risk evaluation

Why it saves lives.

We’re committed to lowering the death-toll from health-care associated infections. 75,000 annual deaths is simply unacceptable. That number comes from the CDC—the same respected agency that recommends the use of an ICRA standard risk evaluation. The TJC, APIC and ASHE also recommend use of this plan before starting any work in a health-care facility. Carlton Building is onboard with the approach!

In our last blog on HAI’s we promised to build awareness. Here’s some more knowledge for health-care builders wanting to lower the potential for danger when doing what we consider very important work, the work of making health-care facilities better, stronger and safer.

What is an Infection Control Risk Assessment?

You gotta ask right? Before we go further what is this thing?

The ICRA is an organizational document. It allows contractors like us to consider and evaluate a facility’s patient populace and the program in place to support them. This standard risk evaluation,

  • Focuses on reduction of risk from infection

  • Offers insights into many phases of facility

    • Planning

    • Design

    • Construction

    • Renovation

    • Maintenance

  • The ICRA offers knowledge about possible impact from

    • Infection

    • Infectious agents

    • Care environment

How does the ICRA Work?

The ICRA elements are divided into three steps that “mix and match” to come up with the best approach for each situation. Let’s take a look.


Step One:

Table 1 is the type of construction going on.

Table 1 is the type of construction going on.

Identifies the TYPE of Construction Activity or what kind of work is needed. Clearly, the environmental impact differs considerably from project to project. Painting a bit of trim is far less dangerous than demolishing an entire floor.

Here’s what it looks like.

Step Two:

Table 2 is the location of the work.

Table 2 is the location of the work.

Evaluates the Location that’s affected by the work. Various locations within a facility have different risk factors. Considering a room for physical therapy is dissimilar to working on a burn unit.

Check out the various risk sections as laid out on the ICRA.

Step Three:

We put TYPE and Location together!

They type of work needed (table 1) is paired with the “sensitivity” of the space that’s affected by the job (table 2).

For instance a Type A job—like removal of ceiling tiles for visual inspection only—done in a low risk area. Gets a classification of I. There are IV major classifications. They tell us how we should handle the job safely. Here’s table 3 to demonstrate.

Table 3 puts Type and Location together to classify what’s need to maintain a lower infection risk.

Table 3 puts Type and Location together to classify what’s need to maintain a lower infection risk.

If you want to see what the final outcome is based on the three steps above, click here to take a peek. In our next post we’ll take apart the approved classifications that decrease the chance of infection and increase our level of pride in the work we do. The mission to increase awareness continues and nothing is better than informed clients.

Enhancing health-care facilities and creating and maintaining safe healing environments is the goal here. In high-risk situations precautions need to be understood and activated. Make sure your health-care construction team is experienced in procedures laid down by informed institutes like the CDC. Insist they use effective containment procedures. Lives depend on it.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.