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For Those Working in an Office Air Quality is Critical

Posted in Air Quality, on December 15, 2016

We often forget that more than half our waking hours are spent at work, and quite often in a fully enclosed office environment. It means that the typical office worker is breathing in office air 40 hours a week or more. When indoor air quality is poor, job performance will be affected, as well as personal health. In fact, many allergy symptoms can be exacerbated by poor air quality in the workplace. Therefore, it’s critical to remedy a bad situation and make every effort to improve. 

Common air quality problems in the workplace

Professionals will point to poor air ventilation as the biggest problem in the workplace. This is mainly because fresh outdoor air is not being properly circulated through the building structure. Worse still, a badly designed HVAC system could be taking in air and circulating pollutants with damaging effects. Optimum ventilation is critical in reducing air pollution in an office space. Beyond the ventilation system itself, poor maintenance of the HVAC equipment can be the source of poor air quality. All air filters must be replaced throughout the year, and regular maintenance must be planned in an effort to avert potential problems. A well-maintained ventilation system is key to keeping fresh air circulating throughout a building, and around specific working areas. Indoor dampness and moisture can also contribute to poor air quality in the office. This could be a result of a water leak, some previous flooding, or even higher than normal humidity levels. In fact, a moist environment is a perfect recipe for mould growth. Add to that the mould spores that are spread through the ventilation system, and poor air quality can actually turn dangerous. Hard to believe, but construction work and building renovations can affect indoor air quality with little or no warning. Airborne particles, construction dust, and off-gassing paint can quickly turn an office into a polluted zone. The answer is effective air filtration equipment on every work site, so that pollutants are controlled, without compromising the air quality of any office space.

Air testing is the first step in providing a remedy

Wherever poor air quality is suspected, action is required. This is particularly relevant when air quality is having negative effects on worker health. A comprehensive air test, conducted by a professional in the field, will identify the presence of mould, formaldehyde, asbestos, and dozens of air pollutants that could be making people sick. Good test data will pinpoint unsafe levels of pollutants, and set the stage for general improvement and serious remediation, where necessary.

Poor air quality in the workplace affects staff

When indoor air quality in the workplace is substandard, worker performance is compromised. People find it hard to concentrate, and difficult to perform tasks. Oftentimes, a business will have a high rate of absenteeism and extensive downtime. In these types of situations it’s important to quickly isolate the nature of the problem, assess the scope, and provide a workable solution. In most cases where air quality is an issue, it makes sense to hire specialists who will assess, test, and resolve the problem at hand. This includes comprehensive assessment of the working space; thorough testing and detailed reporting; and recommendations for a fix.

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