Indoor Air Quality

What is 'Indoor Air Quality' & why do we need to monitor it?

Workplace regulations require that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air. This is to make sure that each person, within the space, is free from the risk of, what the industry calls, 'Sick Building Syndrome'. Lack of oxygen and floating bacterial spores are a huge factor in sickness at work and can be linked to the ventilation (Learn more about sick building syndrome and the symptoms).

If you are an employer, it is good practice to monitor the sick-days of your staff members. If the rates go up, please refer to your ventilation program as soon as possible for a potential cause. If you need help identifying the cause, one of our Risk Assessors will be happy to conduct an investigation for you. We also suggest that a keen interest be placed on complaints, from staff, which are being directed to the office air conditioning system or environmental conditions in general. This may be a great indicator of whether your system needs attention.

If you have a ventilation system, of mechanical means or otherwise, the regulations require a maintenance and cleaning program. This is because a circulated system could push around various types of airborne contaminants that can make an entire workforce ill; much like a plane flight where a lot of people catch a common cold through the circulating air vents. It is very important that air conditioning systems are kept free from anything which could contaminate the air, but, as well as being cleaned, they should also be risk assessed to identify any contaminants that could potentially get into the system. This could be caused by a near by factory releasing air pollutants, a road with lots of traffic and petroleum fumes and even pesticides from farm lands that could irritate and damage people's eyes. Measures should then be introduced to reduce the risk of the contaminants getting into the building ventilation systems.

If you are not yet compliant, the best place to start is to have an indoor air quality audit. An audit will assess the cleanliness of the ducted air system, to include the work areas, to ensure that temperature, relative humidity, dust, bacteria and fungal levels do not exceed those associated with respiratory tract and eye irritations, together with adverse reactions in the individuals in the working environment. We can provide you with an audit to suit your needs and on-going support and advice about the condition of your system/s (Learn more about the quality audits we can offer).

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