We spend a significant proportion of our lives at work. This means that our workplaces can greatly influence our physical and emotional health, from being exposed to infectious diseases to stress and anxiety. One equally important but often overlooked way that workplaces impact on our health is through the air we breathe.
Air quality problems can exist in all kinds of workplaces, and can cause a range of health problems, including chronic and severe conditions in the long term. Here is how you can protect your employees’ health by improving air purity in your business location.
Why Air Purity is Important
Air purity is critically important for two main reasons. Firstly, air purity impacts greatly on your employees’ health and any impurities or pollutants could lead to severe health problems. Poor ventilation and low air quality has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, coughing, eye irritation and chest tightness. In the long term, studies have shown that problems with air purity can lead to serious respiratory and other health conditions.
Secondly, issues with air purity can impact on productivity and absenteeism, and so it is in every business’ interests to ensure that the quality of air in the workplace is high. Research shows that better air purity improves productivity and performance. It is also an area that is important to pay attention to because problems with air quality are not always obvious. There could be issues that you are not aware of, and it is possible that air purity is low even if there are no obvious signs or causes.
How to Improve Air Purity
Improving air purity in your workplace will not only protect your employees’ health but it will make your team more productive and boost performance, meaning more profits for your business.
This is essentially about improving ventilation and bringing more fresh air inside.
1- Test air Quality
The first thing you’ll need to do is test your business’ air purity levels. Your site should be regularly tested by a professional so you can identify any problems and act quickly to resolve them.
Hiring a professional service like phs.co.uk can help you to assess and correct the air purity in your office, warehouse, health care centre or other work environment. Even once issues have been corrected, regular follow up tests should be conducted to make sure that new problems do not emerge.
2- Get to the Source
Once you have identified that you have a problem with air purity, the next step is to find and address the source of the issue. Otherwise you will be treating the symptoms but not the cause, and problems will continue to persist. Common sources of air purity issues include outside air pollution being brought in from outside, construction or paint materials within the building, dust particles, and industrial or chemical elements used in the workplace.
Conduct a thorough investigation to find out where impurities are coming from and use this information to develop a plan to improve air quality going forward. This will involve not only tracking the pollutants, but also reviewing staff illness and symptoms which can indicate air purity problems. You should interview your staff and ask them about their symptoms and review your employees’ injury and illness records to spot patterns among parts of your team or different locations.
3- Improve Ventilation
Poor ventilation is one of the major causes of low air quality. If pollutants exist in the workplace, poor ventilation means that they are not removed and taken outside. Even when there is an absence of contaminants, poorly ventilated spaces that recirculate air over and over again can lead to low quality, stale air that negatively impacts on employees’ health and productivity.
It is there important that your business has adequate ventilation. You can improve ventilation by checking the condition of current ventilation systems and upgrading them if necessary. It is also important to make sure that ventilation systems and equipment is serviced regularly. It may be that your space does not have sufficient ventilation and new systems need to be put in place.
4- Use Air Cleaners and Purifiers
As a final step, once you have eliminated the source of air impurities and improved ventilation, air cleaners and purifiers should be installed in the business. This will ensure that the air quality is as high as possible by removing any contaminants that may find their way on-site.
Room air cleaners are powerful machines that trap pollutants and are particularly beneficial to anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma. They come in a variety of sizes, from large units designed to clean large spaces, to smaller desktop models. Make sure to invest in good-quality models that will effectively trap and remove contaminants in the air.