In most workplaces, there are certain hazards that employees face. However, one common hazard that you may not think of is mold.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t have specific regulations when it comes to mold in indoor workspaces. However, many states are developing regulations to help improve the air quality in workplaces to keep employees safe and healthy.
In this article, we will look at why mold is so prevalent in the workplace and how partnering with a professional to remediate the issue at its core can help keep your business and your employees running efficiently.
Mold in the Workplace
Mold is found just about everywhere in the environment, both indoors and outdoors. Indoor mold growth may occur when excess moisture accumulates in buildings or in things found in buildings, such as carpeting, ceiling tiles, paper, wood, or HVAC systems.
The key to controlling indoor mold growth is controlling the moisture in the building. However, the typical workplace has many opportunities for excess moisture to pop up, including plumping, roof or window leaks, flooding, pipe sweating, and wet foundations. Just know that wherever there is dampness, there is going to be mold.
The Effects of Mold
While many people may not experience any adverse health effects from indoor or outdoor mold, there are factors that can affect this, such as the amount of mold, how well ventilated the area is, and whether or not the employee has an underlying health condition.
For most people, exposure to mold can lead to symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Red or itchy eyes
- Skin irritation
If someone has an allergy to mold or if they have asthma, these reactions can be a lot more intense than the average person.
If employees are exposed to large amounts of mold at work, severe reactions may also be experienced. These reactions can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
What Can You Do About Mold?
As we mentioned before, it is your responsibility as an employer or building owner to keep everyone that works for you safe and healthy in their work environment. That’s why it’s essential for you to help eliminate mold problems as quickly as possible. Things you can do to keep the air quality in your business clean include:
1. Prevent Excess Moisture
Controlling moisture is the key to controlling mold in your workplace. Prevention tactics include:
- Use dehumidifiers when possible.
- Repair any leaky pipes, ceilings, or windows.
- Keep your HVAC system maintained by professionals.
2. Remove Damaged Materials
If you notice any materials in the office have water damage from leaks or flooding, bag up the materials and dispose of them as soon as possible. These materials are now breeding grounds for mold, and getting rid of them is the only way to stop it.
3. Clean Up in a Timely Manner
If your building does experience any kind of leak or flooding, it’s vital that you have the area professionally and thoroughly cleaned within 48 hours of the event. Water that hangs out any longer than that will cause mold growth to skyrocket quickly.
4. Bring in the Professionals
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your employees and your building is to bring in the professionals. Most businesses can’t afford to shut down operations for long periods of time to deal with a mold problem in their building. That’s why professionals should be brought in to quickly remediate the issue and get you back up and running quickly.
Alpha Omega has been serving Billings Heights, Billings West End, Laurel, Red Lodge, and beyond since 2006. Our professionals are specially trained to detect mold and quickly determine the extent of the damage to your building. After the assessment, we will provide an estimate on what it will take to fix the problem and help you work with your insurance if you decide to get them involved.
Our crews will make sure the job gets done quickly and gets done right the first time to prevent reoccurrence. Contact one of our professionals today to discuss how we can help keep your employees safe and your building mold-free.