Now more than ever, people are concerned about the health and safety of workplaces, not just for the people that work there, but also for clients and visitors. However, healthy workplaces go beyond hygiene and cleanliness. One equally important but often overlooked aspect of workplace safety is air quality.
Here’s what you need to know about air purity and why it is important for your business.
Poor Air Quality Can Make People Sick
Extensive studies have shown the negative health effects of poor ventilation and sub-standard air quality. As air accumulates inside, without proper ventilation pollutants and other harmful elements can build up. This is sometimes called indoor air pollution and can lead to illness, including serious, long-term illness.
Indoor air pollution can cause severe respiratory symptoms, exacerbate asthma symptoms and generate burning effects on the eyes, noses and throat. Additionally, some indoor air pollution involves highly toxic chemicals such as benzene and vinyl chloride that can cause long term lung damage, birth defects, brain and nerve damage and cancer.
Better Air Quality Improves the Immune System
It’s not just an absence of air pollution that makes improved air quality better for our health. Better air purity means that your staff and visitors will be breathing a sufficient amount of oxygen. Having adequate oxygen flow to the lungs strengthens the immune system. It also lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and gives us more energy.
Better air purity also reduces the transmission of infectious diseases in the workplace, including bacteria and viruses. Poor ventilation and other air quality issues means that germs are circulated within the workplace, and will be quickly transmitted from one infectious person to many others. It is not surprising, therefore, that studies have shown a clear link between better air quality and reduced absenteeism.
Air Quality Affects Productivity
Air quality levels have also been shown to increase productivity, giving businesses an economic incentive to improve air purity. One study from Harvard University found that better air purity led to significantly better decision-making and improved performance across all participants in the study. They also tested cognitive function and found better results across nine cognitive function domains. In short: people think better when they breathe better air.
This translates to not only better decision making, but also improved ability to reason, to retain information, and to keep focus. All of these elements are essential for better productivity and ensuring that your team performs at their best. Invariably, businesses find that investing in better air purity is more than repaid in improved productivity of their workforce.
Better Air Purity Reduces Stress
Modern workplaces can be stressful places: workload, deadlines, and shifting priorities can all contribute to stress and anxiety. Better air quality, and in particular higher oxygen levels help to reduce stress and aids with relaxation.
Oxygen is also a powerful energiser, and stale, poorly ventilated air will sap your staff of energy and motivation. Therefore, better air purity will improve your workers’ emotional wellbeing, and make them happier and more productive.
What to do About Air Purity Issues
The first step to addressing air purity problems is to assess the extent of the problem. You should start with a professional assessment and analysis of your premises. This will identify the number and type of pollutants on site. Before you can take any other steps to ensure air purity in your business, the first thing you need to do is identify and eliminate the sources of air pollutants. If you do not nip these in the bud, any efforts you make to purify the air on your site will be ineffective in the end.
It also is important to ensure proper ventilation throughout your premises. Fresh air flows are vital to maintain air purity throughout your site. Closed doors and windows can play havoc with ventilation, while proper ventilation equipment can improve the situation. Along with proper ventilation, air purifiers are an essential tool for improving air quality. Air purifiers and other air cleaning equipment throughout the workplace will improve air quality and ensure air purity.
Of course, every business is different, and each site will have its own air quality challenges requiring a specific response. You can also consult with a service like phs.co.uk for advice on solving your specific air purity issues. It is also important to regularly check back and re-analyse the site to check the levels of pollutants and ensure any new issues are addressed immediately.