Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Air Duct Cleaning – Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning – All about Sick Building Syndrome

What is Sick Building Syndrome and What Causes it?

One of the many reasons for regular air duct cleaning in the workplace is that it helps to keep your staff and customers healthy. In particular, taking this precaution is a way to combat sick building syndrome.
This is a genuine condition, recognised by doctors, where people can become ill if they spend a lot of time in a building, usually a place of work. The syndrome usually occurs in buildings with many people working in close proximity and little access to outside air, because of windows being kept closed. It can occur everywhere from office blocks to hospitals. 

Recent studies estimate absenteeism and loss of production cost UK industry around £500 million a year. Public concern over this has risen during the last decade, and there has been increasing education over how to avoid workplace illness. Managers are responsible for healthy indoor air and other factors affecting the health of their employees at work, as stated in Health and Safety at work regulations and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

The most common symptom among people suffering from sick building syndrome is fatigue, which can make it hard to concentrate. Other symptoms include eye problems and nose and throat irritation. Sufferers might also suffer from aches and pains, nausea, dizziness and headaches, as well as dry skin.  

These symptoms could also be caused by other factors, such as viruses. However, if a number of colleagues notice the same problems, then sick building syndrome might be the cause. Official NHS advice is to raise the issue with a health and safety representative, and the employer then has a duty to look into the problem.

The Causes of Sick Building Syndrome

There are believed to be various causes of sick building syndrome, but among them is inadequate ventilation, with not enough outside air coming in. Dirty air conditioning units, contaminated duct work and filters which need replacing are also implicated. The Health and Safety Executive advises employers to carry out a survey of staff and examine the cleanliness of the whole building, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. 

If you discover that there is a build-up of grease and dirt in air conditioning systems, or that filters need replacing, contact an air duct cleaning specialist and arrange for your system to be cleaned. Also check the schedule you have for ventilation duct cleaning is suitable, as you might need to up its frequency. 

How to Prevent Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome obviously affects individuals in the workplace, but it also affects businesses, with staff taking days off sick and resulting loss of production. It could even lead to people leaving their jobs because of the bad conditions, and make it harder to recruit replacements.

For all these reasons, businesses must work to prevent sick building syndrome, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to schedule regular air duct cleaning. Ingot can help to draw up a schedule that is right for your organisation. Effective ductwork cleaning will help both the workforce and the employer, improving health and helping productivity. Our nationwide service is available in areas including Ipswich and Suffolk, Norwich and Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bristol and London.  

Ingot Services  – Follow the link for more information or call 0800 731 7892.