OSHA offers help to prevent indoor air quality problems at work sites
Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings offers recommendations to prevent or minimize indoor air quality problems. With workers spending 40 hours or more a week in certain work settings, OSHA notes that some experts believe more people may suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution than outdoor air pollution.
Failure to respond to indoor air problems can lead to many adverse health consequences. Symptoms may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches; dizziness; and rashes. Muscle pain and fatigue and can easily be mistaken for other illnesses.
Additionally, poor indoor air can be linked to asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, according to OSHA. Long-term effects of poor indoor air quality may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
Persistent dampness is especially problematic for workers. In addition, flaws in building design and inadequate routine preventive maintenance of building enclosures, plumbing, and HVAC systems can be sources of poor indoor air. OSHA recommends regular preventive maintenance to ensure systems are operating properly.
The booklet outlines steps employers can take to improve indoor air quality. Maintaining a good working relationship with building management on indoor environmental issues is one. Another is placing office furniture and equipment in areas based on the adequate air circulation, temperature control, and pollutant removal functions of the HVAC system.
OSHA also suggests integrating indoor air quality concerns into purchasing decisions and working with building management and the contractor before starting to remodel or renovate to identify ways of minimizing building-occupant exposure.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
June 27, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications