As 2021 comes to a close, have you noticed more common colds, coughs, and runny noses? When the weather cools, we naturally spend more time indoors- both at home and at work. Now that we are all paying even more attention to social distancing and clean air, employers strive to ensure that their commercial property is safe.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air may be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. “Sick Building Syndrome” describes situations where occupants experience health issues while inside the building, but symptoms disappear after they leave. During the day, inadequate ventilation in a commercial building may expose employees and business owners to toxins, lead dust, formaldehyde, and VOCs.
However, in about 80% of sick building syndrome cases, mold is the main trigger. And mold spreads easily. Airborne spores float through the heating and air duct system and contaminate multiple areas. Mold can negatively affect both your worker and your bottom line. Effective commercial mold remediation can help keep your employees safer and healthier -giving you one less thing to worry about.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and multiple medical studies conclude that working in close proximity to mold-damaged building materials increases the risk of respiratory diseases.
Some types of mold (and spores) are toxic. Daily exposure to these contaminants can be cumulative. When present in large quantities, they pose a risk to human health: asthma, upper respiratory problems, nausea, fatigue. Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can cause neurological problems.
You have a responsibility to understand your employee’s rights. As an employer, you must provide safe working conditions to your workers. If a mold problem has been reported and not corrected, employees can report unhealthy or unsafe hazards to OSHA. Reaching out to a company like Hitchcock Clean and Restore for safe and effective commercial mold remediation will decrease the risks that your company could face in the event of an illness.
In addition to your staff, inventory and raw materials can also suffer from mold exposure. Mold can cause product degradation, discoloration, unpleasant smells, and poor-quality finished goods. It may also add additional costs for late deliveries, loss of sales and product recalls.
When extensive mold damage has occurred, business owners should seek professional guidance before attempting to clean large amounts of contaminated materials.
In order to implement a mold prevention policy at manufacturing, storage, retail or commercial space, your team must understand the ideal conditions for growth:
In order to disrupt the life cycle, you must control any access moisture. Be diligent about addressing any leaks or broken water lines. Pay attention to visible water and streaks on the walls. If you smell mold, seek it out.
Stick to a regular maintenance routine for all the buildings at the facility. Clean and repair gutters; ensure good drainage around the property. Regularly service the HVAC; clean air conditioner drip pans and drain lines.
Biocides, chemical disinfectants, and chlorine bleach may be hazardous to occupants. And If you suspect a mold problem, contact the team at Hitchcock for an expert opinion. Let them support your maintenance staff to keep the building clean and safe.
When removing mold, precautions should be taken. The Hitchcock staff will wear all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including non-vented goggles, long gloves, disposable coveralls to prevent contamination and skin contact.
If your staff will interact at the job site; here are some suggestions:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers a free on-site Consultation Program with confidential advice for small and medium-sized businesses at high hazard worksites. Consultants from state agencies or universities will work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management systems. Visit www.osha.gov/dcsp/ smallbusiness/index
Mold can quickly become a liability for your business. Hitchcock Clean and Restore is Berks County’s #1 rated commercial mold remediation company.