As an employer, you want to look out for the health and welfare of your employees, especially their long-term health and even their lives. This extends beyond simply needing a healthy workforce to care for those who work for you. Having a building or property that makes your employees sick is dangerous on so many levels, from the above health conditions to issues with your bottom line, legal liability, and government investigation. Let’s learn a bit about how Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) can affect your business in offices, factories, warehouses, and more.
Sick-Building Syndrome: Understanding Contributing Factors
SBS is a condition where people who spend time in a specific building feel sick for no apparent reason, usually with their symptoms increasing the longer they spend time there. Conditions can vary, but usually include some or all of the following: headache, fatigue, eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath.
Indoor Air Quality
The causes of this is the indoor air quality, which can be degraded due to poor air ventilation and circulation, temperature and humidity, and most tellingly airborne particulates from building outgassing, microbes like mold, and suspended particles of harmful substances – including asbestos. Learn more about SBS and air quality in the blogs, Understanding Sick Building Syndrome and What Influences Your Indoor Air Quality?
How Indoor Air Quality Impacts Your Workforce
Depending on the factors that contribute to SBS in your building, you could be looking at a quality-of-life issue or a major health hazard for your employees. Some of the most common issues:
- Lowered Productivity: Sick employees are physically and mentally less able to perform their jobs. Conditions like headaches and fatigue can lower the morale of the most motivated.
- Higher Absenteeism: Sickness leads to sick leave. Also, if your employees have complained about air quality issues without them being resolved, they will more likely be absent or quit.
- Lawsuit Liability: Employees who develop chronic diseases such as asbestosis or cancer may take legal action, especially when it comes to asbestos litigation.
- NIOSH Investigation: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health defines a property as an SBS building if more than 20% of the workforce experiences symptoms and can investigate and take action upon employee or employer request.
If you feel like your home or office building is making you sick, it’s time to seek professionals. Fiber Control, Inc. is an asbestos and mold remediation company dedicated to providing the best diagnostic, remediation, and removal services for asbestos, mold, and lead paint in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Contact us today to take a look at your company building so you and your workforce can start feeling better.