Everyone knows a pleasant work environment makes happy, productive employees. But nice pictures on the wall and some pretty flowers aren't going to smooth over the impact of the real saboteurs of productivity. Sometimes the physical work environment conceals health threats that crush efficiency and drive up absenteeism.
One of the major culprits contributing to health issues in the workplace is excess dust. Combating dust can be a real challenge, especially in large commercial or medical buildings. Dust mites are distributed through ducts, after which they linger on work surfaces and upholstery. These are the critters responsible for allergies, asthma, and eczema. Dust mites are one of the factors that make a building succumb to "sick building syndrome."
United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in four buildings (both renovated and new) can be classified as "sick." Luckily, sick buildings can be cured. Even better, managers can prevent a building from getting sick in the first place.
First, ventilation should be regularly checked and maintained. Ductwork should be cleaned and inspected on a strict schedule. Additionally, check to make sure vents aren't blocked by boxes or furniture.
Managers and business owners should monitor the maintenance staff to ensure healthy cleaning methods are in place. Healthy procedures include the proper storage of cleaning supplies, regular emptying of the vacuum cleaner, and regular changing of air filters. Furnishings made of wood, leather, and/or upholstery should be deep cleaned and sanitized to adequately rid them of pathogens.
a study conducted at the
Harvest University Center for Health and the Global Environment, researchers found that people working in well-ventilated offices scored significantly higher in cognitive tests such as crisis response, strategizing, and information usage than employees not working in "green-rated" buildings.
Not only is poor air quality dangerous, it reduces employee efficiency. Facility managers must maintain a high-quality air control program if they expect maximum health and efficiency of the company.
Hillyard has been manufacturing innovative maintenance supplies since 1907, including a high-quality selection of products to combat dust and other airborne particles. For more information, visit the Dust Control section under