Did you know that exposure to indoor pollutants is actually worse than exposure to outdoor ones?
According to the EPA, as more and more workers are spending extensive time indoors, the spotlight has shifted to the importance of indoor air quality. There have been numerous court cases where employers have been sued due to the health effects of working in these environments—sometimes dubbed “sick buildings.”
Are your employees complaining about allergies or sore throats? Has there been more absenteeism due to health-related issues? If so, you should consider regular commercial air duct cleaning, which can help you avoid liability.
A part of maintaining a safe work environment is having good indoor air quality, according to OSHA, and if you ignore the effect this has on your employees, you could find yourself in violation of safety standards and end up in civil court.
What Factors Influence Indoor Air Quality?
According to the EPA, measuring indoor air quality is more nuanced than many people believe—it’s influenced by several factors. Factors include:
- Design of the building
- Maintenance of air ducts
- Building ventilation systems
- Exposure to moisture
It’s important to note that some employees may be more susceptible to air contaminants than others, particularly those with asthma or chronic allergies. This can influence how your employees perceive the air quality; some may find it problematic while others are less likely to be impacted.
There are even names for the problems stemming from unhealthy air quality:
- Sick Building Syndrome
- Building-Related Illness
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality?
There are several indicators that you need to get your ducts clean and improve your indoor air quality. Be on the lookout when employees start complaining of:
- Allergy problems
- Shortness of breath
It’s particularly important to keep a watchful eye on employees who have asthma or other breathing problems.
Health concerns can also affect your bottom line due to absenteeism related to “sick building” issues, and any of these health problems can dramatically affect productivity.
What Are Your Responsibilities in Preventing Air Quality Problems?
Many employers fall under the General Duty Clause of the OSHA Act. This means that they are required to provide a safe work environment that doesn’t have any known hazards. It also states that employers need to be aware of any possible sources that may cause poor indoor air quality and act accordingly to resolve them.
However, when you get into specifics, there are no uniform standards for certain states.
According to the North Carolina Department of Labor:
There are no specific OSHA or N.C. occupational safety and health standards for Indoor Air Quality. However, specific OSH Division standards may apply to particular contaminants.
You can find specific forms and additional details on these contaminants from the Department of Labor’s website.
If you’re in doubt or not sure, don’t take a chance—regular commercial air duct cleaning can be key to ensuring a healthy building and compliance with OSHA standards.
When Would Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Services Be Needed?
Essentially, any time pollutants have found their way into your workspace, it’s important to evaluate the quality of your air ducts. While studies are still ongoing about the full affect clean air duct cleaning services can have on homes and business, regular maintenance will dramatically reduce the chance that contaminants are coming into your building through the ducts.
There are several signs that commercial air duct cleaning services are needed:
- If you see mold growth around ducts
- Remember that many sections of the ductwork are not easily accessible, so there may be related problems that you can’t see. We’ll be happy to investigate and document any problem we discover.
- Wet insulation, which can lead to mold
- Moisture problems
- The discovery of rodents, insects or vermin infesting your ducts
How Our Air Duct Cleaning Services Can Help
We can find the source of your problems and clean your ducts in a manner that ensures pollutants are removed from the building through barriers that will keep them from being spread throughout the workspace. Depending upon the scope of the situation, it may also be necessary to use advanced filtration to ensure the area is completely cleared of pollutants.
If You’re Not Sure About Your Air Quality, First Call Is the Right Call
Your employees are the cornerstone of your business and the key to your company’s success. When they are unhealthy, it affects the entire operation and in certain cases makes you liable for any health problems incurred.
Do you have a “sick building”? Are you not sure about your indoor air quality?
Regular air duct cleaning services can help. For decades we have served large corporations, schools and universities. Contact us today for an estimate.