When we think of air pollution, we usually think of busy roads in the hustle and bustle of big towns and cities. Often we don't even consider indoor pollution and how it can affect our day to day lives. Due to advancements in construction techniques and build quality, indoor pollution is unfortunately becoming more of a problem. This is because pollutants have less of an opportunity to dissipate in modern buildings, which can lead to them building up and decreasing the quality of the air inside. You may be surprised to hear that indoor air can sometimes be up to 50% more polluted than the air outside.
Negative Effects Of Poor Air Quality
While there are a great many advantages to modern buildings, pollution is an important thing to consider, both at home and in the office. Poor air quality inside is linked to Sick Building Syndrome, or SBS, whereby the inhabitants of a building suffer many health conditions, such as asthma, allergies and even strokes. It has also been shown that indoor pollutants can contribute to fatigue, loss of concentration and lower productivity. All of these factors could potentially have adverse effects on your workforce and in turn, your business.
A recent study has shown that the overwhelming majority of office workers feel that air quality affects their working environment. Over 75% of those questioned said they had noticed a negative effect, and many stated that opening windows was their usual attempt to improve the situation. This course of action doesn't solve the problem of outdoor pollutants, however which can then become an issue, especially in more urban areas.
A lot of traffic means a lot of CO2 emissions and many other pollutants which can worsen the indoor air quality even further. Some offices may not even have the option of opening windows and in high traffic areas, noise is also something that can contribute to decreased concentration levels. Nearly 80% of the surveyed participants reported incidents of fatigue on at least a monthly basis, showing that this is likely a widespread and serious problem.
Fight Back With Ventilation
Any employer should be concerned with the health and welfare of their employees so will want to take steps to try and minimise any risks and improve their working conditions. If your unsure of your legal obligations as an employer, learn about workplace ventilation requirements and check you are complying. If we look at the results of the recent study (conducted by BESA) and the reports that followed, it has been recommended that the most effective way to improve air quality in your working environment is to ensure that you provide adequate and effective ventilation. There are many different options ranging from simple air extraction to commercial heat recovery units. Keeping your offices well ventilated will lead to an improvement in air quality, which will have positive effects on both the health and productivity of your workforce. Knowing the importance of a healthy and productive workforce means that ventilation should be one of the most important things to consider when investing in your business.
LJ Pratley are natural and smoke ventilation specialists, dedicated to providing effective solutions for healthier indoor environments to commercial enterprises and private homeowners. Speak to our friendly and experienced team, who offer expert guidance throughout the whole process.