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Air Hygiene in the Workplace

Do your employees ever complain of headaches, coughing, fevers, or other respiratory problems? Do you see a high level of sickness of absenteeism in your place of work?

If yes, this could be due to poor air quality in the office.

Practicing good air hygiene in the workplace is essential for the wellbeing of your staff and the pandemic demonstrated us to all the benefits of uncontaminated air.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about air hygiene in the workplace, including how to improve indoor air quality and how to test the air quality in your office.

How can I improve indoor air quality in my office?

If you are worried about the indoor air quality in your office or you have recently discovered that you have poor air quality, there are several steps that you can take to rectify this.

Clean up spills immediately

Spills and leaks that are left for too long can increase the risk of mould and mildew developing. Therefore, you should make sure that you get rid of any excess moisture or residue dampness as soon as possible.

Add some indoor plants

Office plants not only look good, but they also help to absorb any toxins in the air, which can improve the overall air quality in your workplace. Plants also produce oxygen which can help your employees to breathe more easily.

Keep the office clean

A failure to clean your workspace regularly can lead to a build-up of dirt, dust, and debris, which can all have a negative effect on the overall air quality. Make sure that you vacuum, sanitise and remove any rubbish daily.

How do you purify air in an office?

If you have an issue with the air quality in your office, there are several steps that you can take to purify the air:

Replace air filters

When the air filters in your office become blocked or clogged, this can significantly affect the air flow. Over time, this can cause dust and debris to build up in your air ducts, which puts your employees at risk of respiratory problems.

Make sure that you replace your air filters regularly to keep the air flowing through your office efficiently.

Clean your air ducts

If you think that your air ducts are affecting the circulation in your office, then you should hire a professional ductwork cleaning company to inspect and clean these for you.

Invest in an air purifier

An air purifier can help to improve the quality of air in any space by sanitising the surrounding air. This can help to eliminate common pollutants that can trigger allergies.

Air purifiers can also help to filter viruses from the air, which can help keep employees healthy and reduce absences caused by ill health.

The use of UVC

The government and CIBSE have recognised the use of UVC to help reduce risk of airborne transmission. This is either portable UVC purifiers, upper-air UVC technology and UVC within HVAC.

How do you test air quality in an office?

If you think that you have a problem with the air quality in your office, then you need a tool known as a VOC sensor. This works to detect various volatile compounds that could be affecting the quality of air, including formaldehyde which is a chemical emitted by certain carpets.

You can also invest in carbon dioxide meters and radon detectors which will tell you if you have dangerous levels of these gases in your air.

What makes indoor office air polluted?

There are many different sources of pollution that could be affecting the quality of indoor air in your office, including pests, housekeeping, building maintenance works, renovations, new furnishings or fittings, poorly maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

The location of your office can also affect its indoor air quality. For example, buildings that are situated in industrial areas may be exposed to chemical emissions.

Air quality testing methods

If you are concerned about the quality of air in your workplace, then you should have it tested as soon as possible, as poor air flow can have a negative effect on your employees.

Some of the most effective air quality testing methods are:

  • An indoor air quality monitor

  • Carbon monoxide alarms

  • Radon tests

  • Mould testing kids

If someone in your office is already showing signs of ill health that you suspect may have been caused by pollutants in the air, then you should seek out a professional team to carry out IAQ testing. They will be able to detect and measure a wide range of harmful substances in the air and can advise you on what action you need to take next.

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