Are your employees calling in sick often or complaining of not feeling well at your business? If a large percentage of your staff are experiencing discomfort, it may be an indication that your business has Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Yes, it’s an actual term and it has been so problematic in workplaces that it has been researched by the World Health Organization, Environmental Protection Agency, and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
What is Sick Building Syndrome?
When occupants of a building experience the following symptoms, they are considered to have SBS:
- Scratchy throat
- Irritation of mucous membranes
- Stuffy nose
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry, irritated skin
- Asthmatic symptoms
These symptoms tend to worsen the longer a person stays inside a building, and symptoms will usually dissipate when he or she leaves for an extended period of time.
The causes have been speculated to be related to:
- Poor ventilation: Without sufficient airflow, the oxygen in the space will become used up and increase bacteria, as well as bring about some of the SBS symptoms.
- Organic compounds: When buildings are not properly cleaned or maintained, the prevalence of bacteria, mold, fungi, and other allergens increase and contaminate the indoor air quality. These can be hiding in carpet fibers, upholstery, vents, clogged filters, etc. Without regular cleaning of your HVAC system, all it is doing is circulating these pathogens.
- Chemicals: If your facility is near a high traffic road, chances are exhaust, smog, and other chemicals from the outdoors are making their way into the building.
The best way to tackle SBS is to improve ventilation and eliminate sources of pathogens and allergens by installing and changing filters, cleaning the HVAC system regularly, and creating an overall cleaner environment for your employees.
If you suspect SBS at your business in the Massachusetts area, contacting our certified commercial cleaning company. New England Cleaning Services, Inc. is your best bet to successfully eradicating this condition from your workplace. Continued SBS can only lead to more absenteeism, poor morale, and decreased productivity, so contact us online or call our Waltham, MA office at (781)890-2000for assistance. Our highly-trained cleaning professionals serve executive offices, medical buildings, controlled environments, and manufacturing and production buildings with the latest techniques and equipment, and are committed to creating customized plans to keep your facility in tip-top shape!