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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
NOV 01, 2017
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
It’s a common misconception that the biggest risk for breathing polluted air happens when you are outside. In reality, people spend almost 90 percent of their time inside, where the threat can be particularly dangerous. Exposure to poor indoor air quality can negatively affect your health, including persistent migraines, irritation of the lungs, eyes, nose and mouth and, in extreme cases of radon or asbestos exposure, cancer. Know how to keep your workers safe by maintaining healthy indoor air quality at your jobsite.
What are the most common causes?
There is no singular cause of poor indoor air quality, so at your worksite be aware of:
A lack of ventilation with clean, outdoor air
Poor maintenance of ventilation systems
Humidity or dampness caused by leaking, burst pipes or flooding
Indoor or outdoor contaminated air
How can you tell?
If your workers are showing consistent symptoms of dizziness, nausea, headaches and fatigue, this may be an indication of poor indoor air quality. You should encourage workers to see a doctor for any persistent symptoms, such as cough, fever or flares in pneumonia. Not all indoor air quality problems will appear as detrimental to your workers’ health. Be careful to observe other indications, such as musty or unpleasant odors and overly humid air.
The only way to be sure the quality of the air at your job site is high, is to properly maintain your building, regardless of whether or not there are signs of poor indoor air quality.
How can you prevent it?
To prevent pollution-related health problems, you should:
Check temperature, air flow and humidity on a daily basis
Make sure ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems are in accordance with building use and occupancy, and check for leaks and blockages
Take regular building walk-throughs to check for odors and to look for water damage, leaks, dirt and other possible indications of poor air quality
Keep watch on your employees for symptoms of poor air quality, and be proactive in keeping your workplace safe. To learn more about how to determine the air quality of your worksite and protect your employees, click