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Before you take another breath, is the air you breathe bad for your health?

by , 26 March 2013
In this issue
- Get 29 essential health and safety inspection checklists
- Before you take another breath, is the air you breathe bad for your health?
- Save time and money with this all in one health and safety resource

Dear Health and Safety Reader,
My name is Miriro Matema, and I'm the new Product Manager for the Health and Safety Training Manual. I look forward to bringing you relevant health and safety tips and advice and help you meet your health and safety obligations!

Having said that, I was reading an interesting article this weekend about poor indoor air quality at the office. Did you know that we spend an average of 2000 hours at work each year? Poor-quality indoor air can cause major health problems, such as allergies and respiratory diseases. Even minor conditions, like headaches and eye irritation, can cause discomfort that can lead to lower productivity.

Here're 5 points from our Indoor Air Quality report that you can use to investigate the safety of your air.
Get 29 essential health and safety inspection checklists
Never again will these questions plague you:
  • Is my first aid kit complete?
  • How often am I supposed to clean my canteen?
  • What should I include in my daily forklift inspection?
  • Does it matter if the hooter on my delivery vehicle isn't working?
  • I only have one toilet for every 30 employees. Is this enough?
This is because my team of health and safety experts and I have compiled templates of the 29 most common inspection checklists you'll use in your business!

5 ways to investigate the safety of your air
1. Inspect ventilation systems (HVAC, air conditioners and humidifiers)
Check that there's a correct mix of fresh air distributed. Ensure your ventilation system is working properly. Ensure the ducts and air conditioning units are clean and free of slime and odours.
2. Inspect the circulation
Does the air seem stuffy or is there a noticeable lack of air movement? Are there lingering odours? Open as many windows as possible or use an extraction fan to remove the still air.
3. Monitor your smoking policy
Do you have a smoking policy? Enforce it often. Smoking is permitted in designated areas only.  Ensure your smoking areas are at least 3m away from a working area. This will ensure your office air stays free of smoke.
Are you responsible for compiling your SHE file?
  • Are you struggling to keep up-to-date with all the paperwork?
  • Do you waste your time formatting all the documents?
  • Are you stressed out about all your legal requirements?
Of course you are. You have enough on your plate already, and keeping up with paperwork isn't on the top of your to-do list. But unfortunately, it's part of your job because it's a legal requirement. And, you've answered 'YES' to at least half of the questions above.

Click here and get your SHE file sorted, once and for all.
4. Inspect walls, windows and floors
Ensure your walls, windows, floors and ceilings are free from mold and dust. Wipe down these surfaces with a good disinfectant. Carpets hold onto dust and dirt longer than other surfaces. Use a vacuum cleaner at least twice a week to remove potential air pollutants.
5. Examine pollutant sources
Areas more prone to bad air quality are smoking rooms, handling areas (e.g. chemical storage or paper storage) and photocopier rooms.Have these rooms aired and cleaned regularly. For example, if you have two or more copiers in a room, have the room aired out once a week.
Implement these 5 simple points to ensure your employees stay healthy!
Best wishes,
Miriro Matema
Managing Editor of the Health and Safety Training Manual
P.S. If you're a subscriber, look out for our upcoming update Chapter on Ventilation in the workplace in the Health and Safety Advisor with a fail-safe checklist you must implement to ensure your employees stay healthy. If you're not a subscriber yet, click here and we'll send you the Health and Safety Advisor Loose Leaf Service. It includes user friendly templates that'll help you implement necessary health and safety requirements.

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Before you take another breath, is the air you breathe bad for your health?
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