Indoor Air Quality at Work

What Building Facility Managers Can Do to Promote Good Indoor Air Quality

Most of us work in an office and spend 8 hours a day in an environment that we have little or no control of.  Which leads us to ask the question “Who” is in control of the indoor environment where we work?

As an occupant of an office building, understanding the role of the building management in maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor environment is an important step in understanding how you can fit into the picture. EPA and NIOSH recommend that every building manager obtain and use the Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers.  The guide provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings.

The guide helps building managers:

  1. Designate an Indoor Air Quality Representative, who serves as the contact for indoor environment issues. The IAQ representative should be accountable for the quality of the indoor environment and should have the authority, knowledge, and training to oversee or carry out the following steps in a good indoor air quality management plan:
  2. 2.      Assess the current condition of the indoor air in the building by:
    1. identifying and reviewing records pertaining to the HVAC design and operation
    2. developing an indoor air profile of the building, identifying potential pollutant sources, if feasible
  3. Address any existing and potential indoor air quality problems.
  4. 4.      Educate building staff about indoor air quality management by:
    1. providing training opportunities
    2. establishing clear pollutant source management policies
  5. 5.      Operate and maintain the building and ventilation system for good indoor air by:
    1. establishing or reinforcing standard operating and maintenance procedures
    2. responding quickly to leaks, floods, and other accidents that occur in buildings to prevent indoor air quality problems from developing
  6. 6.      Manage potential pollutant sources such as:
    1. smoking
    2. remodeling and renovation materials and furnishings
    3. housekeeping and pest control products
    4. exhaust fumes from loading docks or garages
  7. Communicate with tenants and occupants about their roles in maintaining good indoor air quality.
  8. Establish clear procedures for responding to indoor air-related complaints.
  9. Keep a record of reported health complaints to aid in solving indoor air-related problems. This will help improve the chances of correctly diagnosing and then fixing problems, especially if a pattern in complaints can be detected.

You can download the guide at the EPA web site by following the link below.

Microshield can help you with the implementation of the guide and provide the necessary training to successfully provide a healthy work environment.

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