In instances where air sampling is undertaken, this self-reported poor air quality is often linked to the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC); nasty little airborne particles typically caused by processes involving solvents, paints and chemicals. So how did these get into the office? Common sources include poorly maintained air conditioners, vehicle exhaust entering via the building’s car park, the use of toxic cleaning chemicals and people walking substances in on their shoes.
How to fix it …
- Door mats: Yes, door mats. Door mats not only reduce slip hazards, they also do an excellent job of trapping and holding walked-in chemicals and allergens. Strategically placing these and ensuring that they are cleaned, maintained and replaced when need will help to ensure that nastiness from the street don’t make it any further into your work space. Just make sure they are retired before they become too worn, otherwise they will begin releasing everything they’ve trapped over time.
- Vacuuming: Make sure that your office is being. These will ensure contaminates are removed by the vacuuming process, not just being moved around. This ensures fine particles such as dust, dead skin; pollens and dust mite faces are trapped and prevented from recirculating into the air. It is critical that the filters are replaced regularly to remain effective. A typical lifespan for a filter is no longer than six months.
- Non-toxic chemicals: Some commonly used cleaning products such as bleach, descaling acid and heavy degreasers are actually classified as Dangerous Goods when transported, yet are still often splashed around liberally within workplaces. In lieu of these caustic substances which cause the release of toxic gas, employ a biological cleanser which uses enzymes to break down dirt.
- Scheduled maintenance programs: Implementing maintenance schedules for all of your office’s key assets will to help to ensure they are running efficiently, reach their optimum lifespan and are not contributing to poor air quality. In addition to obvious items such as air conditioning units and kitchen equipment, consider planning periodic deep cleans of your flooring and carpet, as well as maintenance for areas missed in your standard week-to-week cleans such as ceilings and windows.
However these solutions are proven, achievable and will make a difference to the health, wellbeing and absenteeism of your staff.Share