Indoor air pollution has become a major issue in recent times. This is not surprising seeing as most people spend much time inside at work or at home. But do these problems extend to usually well ventilated and wide open spaces? Should you even be bothered about the air quality in your building or offices? Yes, you should.
Poor indoor air quality can affect your workforce’s ability to produce excellent results. Moreover, if your business involves the production of food based product, poor indoor air quality can impact your products’ quality and output, regardless of how open the space may seem. Apart from these, here are some other reasons why you should be concerned about your company’s indoor air quality.
Risks of Increased of Allergies
Poor indoor air quality is usually caused by a myriad of factors. One of these factors is the presence of dust particles, mold and chemical aerosols in the air. These can result in allergies. Sure, it might be a small inconvenience, but when more than half your staff is sneezing or having running noses, you know that is not good at all. Increased exposure to all such harmful chemicals and toxins too can result in increased asthma occurrences among the staff.
Increased Health problems
With poor indoor air quality comes increased health risks and problems. Workers who routinely complain of headaches, inability to breathe properly, more frequent asthma attacks, running nose and itchy skin while at work and relief when they leave the building are probably exposed to toxic albeit imperceptible toxins that might be eroding their immune system.
For instance, an office or factory with poor indoor quality might be quietly emitting formaldehyde gas and radon that the workers are unaware of, but are reacting to. Seeing as it is your duty to do everything in your power to keep them healthy and safe, you must find out why your workers are frequently calling in sick or why it always seems like one or more of your workers are suffering from some ill health.
Reduced Productivity caused by illnesses
A healthy worker is a productive one. If your employees are consistently sick or at discomfort while working in your company, then there’s cause for alarm. This is because more sick days means lower output or less productivity on the part of your employees. This is not good business and will most negatively impact your company.
Possible Lawsuits filed by Employees or Ex-Employees
There’s also the possibility of employees and ex-employees filing lawsuits against employers particularly when the cause of their condition –for instance, cancer from prolonged exposure to radon and formaldehyde- can be traced to exposure to different toxic substances in your workplace.
Safety Measures to Combat Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace
Locate the Source of Contamination
For a start, look for places with high humidity and unresolved water or wetness problems. A musty office environment obviously has a mold problem. So, locate the source of the decay and attend to it. If you run a big plant and there’s so much ground to cover, bring in mold experts to check out the mold situation. You should also check to see if there are dangerous chemicals and gases in the air. Usually, a quick reading the indoor air quality expert will indicate if this is the case.
Deploy All Safety Measures
If your workplace is insufficiently ventilated, you should ventilate more frequently or provide a means through which the air inside can be sucked out, and the outside air sucked in. if your insulation boards are continually producing formaldehyde and radon gas, it is time to replace them. Control the source of the contamination, use dehumidifiers and air purifiers to remove excess moisture and aerosol particles, then use air filters to clean up the air further.
That is pretty much it. If you can do this, then you’ll drastically reduce the poor indoor air quality in your workplace.
About the author:
Oscar King works for a company that specializes in carpentry and woodworking as a health and safety coordinator. Due to the nature of his industry, indoor air quality is a major concern, and he highly recommends the services of eCompliance Management Solutions for making sure this and other areas of concern are properly addressed. You can learn more about Oscar by visiting Google+.