Is the air in your office slowly killing your employees?
Do you find yourself (or your employees) suffering from frequent headaches, dizziness, scratchy throats and an inability to concentrate? Chances are, the ventilation in your office isn't up to scratch! But the condition of the air you and your employees breathe, is your responsibility.
Ventilation in the workplace is one of the most important factors you need to consider when you do your risk assessment.
Poor ventilation can lead to employees getting sick. This means employees will stay away more often and this in turn will affect company's productivity.
The Health and Safety Advisor Loose Leaf
explains how to get proper ventilation.
Nine steps to ensure proper ventilation in your workplace
Step 1: Do a complete risk assessment
Step 2: Ask a specialist for help
If you're in doubt about the air quality inside your building, get a specialist to do an air monitoring survey. The survey will identify the type of pollutants in the air. You can find specialists that do this in the phone directory or yellow pages. You can also visit www.environmental-expert.com (They have a list of all South African companies doing surveys).
Step 3: Educate your employees
Give them informal or formal training about ventilation in the workplace, housekeeping gand any other information needed to reduce the possibility of pollution in the workplace. Personal hygiene should also be addressed in these training sessions. This must include the use of perfumes and colognes. Employees must be educated to communicate all possible problems in the workplace, so it can be rectified.
Step 4: Implement a smoking policy in your workplace
Non-smokers and smokers that have stopped smoking are very sensitive to second-hand smoke.
Step 5: Implement adequate cleaning facilities
Make sure you have adequate cleaning staff to ensure your building's hygiene levels are maintained.
Step 6: Ensure you have sufficient plants in yourbuilding
Plants create oxygen, which will improve the air quality in your office. Maintain and water them on a regular basis.
Step 7: Install HVAC systems in the workplace toincrease the flow of air into your building.
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. These systems must be designed and installed by professional bodies like air-conditioning installation companies.
Step 8: Design a maintenance plan for your HVACsystem
Make sure your HVAC system is maintained according to your plan
Step 9: Investigate and take action
This is the most important step of all. If a problem is reported to you, investigate it and rectify it as soon as possible. This'll show that you care as an employer, and that the well-being of each employee is important to you. This isn't only the right thing to do, but it'll also boost your employees' morale in the workplace.
You don't need to suffer with poor air! Put this plan into action now!
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