Contrary to what you might want to believe, ‘sick building syndrome’ is not something your employee came up with to justify taking three days off work.
In fact, sick building syndrome is a major reason why companies face increased sickness absenteeism and a decrease in their workers’ productivity.
· Discussing Sick Building Syndrome
The abstract is this: due to various elements, like someone in the building becoming sick or too much time spent in that space, the workforce in a building can start developing various signs and symptoms of illness.
The symptoms may range from dizziness, ENT irritation, dry cough, headaches, fatigue, allergies, flu, and flu-like symptoms, all the way to changes in one’s personality and an increased chance of them developing anxiety.
From a psychological standpoint, this decrease in energy and anxiety might be due to job-related stress or a pre-existing mental illness. However, there are numerous other causes behind the physical ailments that your staff might be suffering from.
Factors Responsible for Sick Building Syndrome
· Biological Contaminants
This includes various primary contaminants such as mold, fungus, bacteria, pollen, and viruses, which may breed in places like the building’s insulation, upholstery, carpets, and ceiling tiles. They may also be present in any stagnant water that may have accumulated in a building’s drainpipes, air ducts, or humidifiers.
Additionally, other sources of biological contaminants, such as bird droppings or even insects may cause a number of health problems such as fever, coughing and chest tightness, muscle aches, allergic reactions, as well as the odd chill. Also, if the office space has more people, that may increase the chances of airborne viruses spreading.
· Chemical Contaminants
This is divided into two sources; indoor and outdoor.
Indoor sources of contamination include a lot of everyday products such as tobacco smoke, byproducts from space heaters, fireplaces, and even the stove.
The air might also become contaminated from a number of VOCs, which are Volatile Organic Compounds. This includes cleaning agents, pesticides, adhesives, copy machines, wood products, and even your carpeting and upholstery. Other synthetic fragrances from care products for maintenance and cleaning may contribute as well.
As for outdoor sources, this includes basic pollutants that come from your building exhausts, plumbing exhausts, as well as motor vehicles. These could easily make their way into the building through open windows, air intake vents and more. Dust, lead paint, formaldehyde, radon, and asbestos from poorly-located vents are also to blame.
Preventing the Problem
In addition to improving the overall ventilation system of your office, you must also take care of the office space itself by hiring a professional commercial cleaning service, like us!
With our years of experience in janitorial cleaning for numerous workspaces in Grand Rapids, MI; Kleen Office Environments can help you take care of your office the right way.
For general inquiries, contact us today at 616-889-3720 or click on the link to request a quote.