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Seven tips to improve ventilation in your workplace

by , 14 June 2013
If your employees are experiencing headaches, dizziness, sinus congestion, itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throats and an inability to concentrate at work, poor ventilation in your office can be the source of all these symptoms. And if you fail to provide proper ventilation, you run the risk of your business facing hefty penalties or even being shut down. Don't take that risk! Use these seven tips to improve ventilation in your workplace.

Office ventilation removes unpleasant smells and excessive moisture, introduces outside air to keep interior building air circulated and prevents stagnation of the indoor air. Ventilation includes both the exchange of air to the outside, as well as circulation of air within the building.

And since you're responsible to provide and maintain a safe work environment for your employees, it's crucial that you recognise that poor ventilation is a hazard you need to eliminate.

If you don't, it'll slow down productivity in your workplace and result in increased sick leave, not to mention fines for non compliance.

Are you prepared to take that risk?

Use these tips to improve ventilation or face penalties

The Health and Safety Advisor recommends you use these common and easy ways to help improve the ventilation in your work environment:

Tip#1: Don't block air vents in window bays with furniture or other objects like books, files and even handbags. You'll cut of the airflow and prevent proper heating and cooling. This reduces the supply of fresh air and produces condensation on the glass. Condensation could eventually cause water damage and even promote mould growth. This could pose health problems for employees with allergies or environmental sensitivities.

Tip#2: Personal habits often affect the quality of air in the workplace. While many minor problems are insignificant by themselves, every bit of pollution adds up. To help promote a clean, odour free, pleasant place to work:

  • Keep your lunch room or break area clean so odours don't develop.
  • Avoid using air fresheners. They only mask odours. Using one odour to mask another simply adds pollutants to the air.
  • Take care of plants, wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and make sure there's a tray under them to catch any leaks.

Tip#3: Open windows and doors in the office when possible to allow fresh air into the office.

Tip#4: Install kitchen and bathroom fans to extract odour and moisture.

Tip#5: Clean the work environment regularly to keep bacteria, viruses, fungi, mites, pollen and other allergens under control.

Tip#6: Review any potential sources of chemical pollutants including building materials, office equipment, furniture and chemical products. Take care to alleviate their effects and manage their use responsibly to reduce exposure.

Tip#7: Complete a monthly self-assessment on your workspace. This'll help you further eliminate poor ventilate problems if they arise in your assessment.

Use these tips to improve ventilation in your workplace and reduce the health and safety risks of your employees.


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