Improve the Air Quality in your business
The air in any work environment can contain dust, chemical fumes, mould, mites, toxic gases, allergens, and other nasties, depending upon the kind of operations of the organization.
Such impurities in the air can not only cause discomfort for the workers but also affect their health in various ways, including severe impacts over the long term. Protecting your employees’ health is not only an occupational safety requirement, but it can also affect your business if employees fall sick and need to take leave from work.
Therefore, maintaining the air quality of your workplace at all times is essential to any organization. Here are some vital steps that should be followed by management and staff to improve the air quality of any business environment.
Observe Basic Cleanliness
Even without using any sophisticated equipment, keeping the workplace clean and maintaining workplace hygiene at all times will maintain high air quality to an extent. Use only eco-friendly cleaning agents for cleaning and ensure they don’t release any volatile organic compounds (VOC), which can threaten your air quality. All desks and surfaces should be kept clean and regularly wiped with a damp cloth and cleaning agents to prevent the build-up of bacteria and dust particles. You can also grow indoor plants, which will not only add to the aesthetic value of the workplace but also provide more oxygen and help remove carbon dioxide.
Use Air Purifiers
Basic cleaning procedures and ventilation systems will not help in removing harmful chemicals and toxic gases. Hence, air purifiers are necessary if you suspect that such pollutants are circulating in the air in your workplace. There are a range of air purifiers of different specifications and capacities available, so make a prudent choice and buy the one that best suits your work environment requirements.
Isolate Harmful Equipment
Some machines used in an office atmosphere, such as photocopiers, printers, and various other pieces of office equipment can release VOCs and other pollutants such as ozone into the air when they work. Therefore, such equipment must be kept separately in a designated area away from staff if possible. Besides this general office equipment, businesses in different industries can have their specific air polluting machinery or devices. These machines will have their own guidelines for safe use, including when it comes to air purity and air quality.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Make sure there is sufficient ventilation in the workplace for proper air circulation in all areas. It is important to take appropriate care while designing, installing, positioning and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Make sure that air vents don’t remain closed, and cartons and other objects do not block the path of air circulation. Not having proper ventilation can result in serious health problems.
Properly Maintain the Filters
You also need to ensure that moisture and pathogens do not contaminate vent filters. Clean HVAC filters regularly or replace them as necessary as dust accumulated can circulate back into the workplace and present a health hazard. Some equipment may use HEPA filters. Don’t forget to replace them after their recommended lifetime. They must also be disposed of appropriately as per health regulations so that the impurities trapped in them will not spread around to create air contamination.
Monitor the Air and Perform Air Quality Tests Regularly
Air quality monitors must check the pollution level in the air. The company must conduct periodic IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) for proper feedback concerning the air quality level in the work premises. It will show the quantity of dust in the air, the adequacy of ventilation, odours, humidity level, and many other factors that can determine the purity of the air you breathe in your workplace.
Educate Staff on the Importance of Air Quality
Your staff should be well educated on the importance of maintaining air quality in the workplace and what this means for their health. A lack of awareness among employees can worsen air quality instead of improving it. Conduct regular staff training on the subject and display educational posters around the workplace to keep your employees’ knowledge up to date.
Compromising your workplace air quality can lead to multipronged consequences. It can cause various health issues for employees, from mild allergies to severe illnesses and health problems. Such a situation is not conducive to business in any organization as employee absence can affect work productivity and cause unnecessary losses, not to mention your duty of care to your employees. Besides staff members, it can also affect customers and other visitors.
Therefore, every organization should be aware of the need to maintain workplace air quality at all costs. It must also impart valuable knowledge on air hygiene to all staff so that they could take an active part in maintaining the premise’s air quality. These are complex issues and it is difficult for businesses to take care of them comprehensively on their own, and so it can be a good idea to seek the help of experienced air hygiene professionals.