Air Quality in the Workplace: How HR Departments can Ensure a Safe and Healthy Environment

Human resource departments are critical in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace. As employers look to have their workforce return to offices, creating an optimal work environment includes indoor air quality. Employees are beginning to frequently interview their employer and their building. Poor air quality can lead to various health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, and headaches, leading to decreased productivity at work. A human resources department can leverage the advantage of good indoor air quality to benefit their business and increase employee satisfaction and the company’s bottom line.  

Improved Employee Health and Well-being

The most obvious benefit of air purification and monitoring is improved employee health and well-being. Poor indoor air quality can cause various health problems, including allergies, asthma, and respiratory infections. By removing harmful pollutants, allergens, and other irritants from the air, businesses can create a healthier environment for their employees. This, in turn, can lead to fewer sick days (potentially leading to reduced insurance costs), increased productivity, and better employee morale.

Compliance with Regulations

Many businesses are subject to regulations related to indoor air quality. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines for indoor air quality that businesses must comply with. By monitoring and purifying the air, companies can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid fines or other penalties.

Increased Employee Retention

A healthy and safe work environment can help increase employee satisfaction and retention. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that values their health and well-being, and providing clean air is one way to demonstrate that commitment. In addition, turnover can be costly for businesses, so improving retention can have significant financial benefits.

Improved Recruitment

Companies prioritizing employee health and safety are often more attractive to job seekers. By highlighting their air purification and monitoring efforts, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract top talent. A safe and healthy work environment in a competitive job market can be a significant advantage.

Reduced Liability

The business may be liable if an employee suffers from health issues related to poor indoor air quality. However, by proactively monitoring and purifying the air, companies can reduce the risk of such incidents and the associated costs. In addition, businesses that take a proactive approach to indoor air quality can demonstrate to employees and regulators that they take seriously their responsibility to provide a safe work environment.

Implementing Air Purification and Monitoring Systems

So how can HR departments implement workplace air purification and monitoring systems? Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Monitor Air Quality: Before purchasing air purification equipment, we always recommend that monitoring for IAQ problems and understanding your current needs is the most efficient solution. Vertices AQS offers a dozen indoor air quality measurements to help you understand IAQ needs.

  2. Identify sources of pollutants: Once the air quality has been assessed, it’s essential to identify the sources of pollutants. Common sources include cleaning products, carpets, and furniture. By identifying these sources, businesses can take steps to reduce or eliminate them.

  3. Choose the right air purification system: While many types of air purification systems exist, the CDC has two recommendations that exemplify a high-quality air purification device. The first is upper air UVGI. Upper-Air Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation is a purification device that uses UV light instead of or in addition to filtration to purify the air. UV light can eliminate pathogens and particulates of any size, making it more efficient than HEPA filtration, which only guarantees success at 3 microns and larger. The second recommendation is directional airflow. Directional airflow ensures that every individual receives purified air that has not been affected by other people. illumiPure’s Air Guardian was designed to meet these standards and provide every employee with fresh, purified air.

  4. Educate employees and interviewees: Now that you have a plan, it’s important to communicate it with other stakeholders. This can help employees understand the business’s steps to provide a safe and healthy work environment and communicate that their health and well-being are essential to the company. Educated employees can also report to HR any potential IAQ threats to help keep an optimal working environment.

If you’d like to learn more about how to improve indoor air quality at your workplace or how to advocate for air purification at your business, please get in touch with us for a free consultation.

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