A safe and healthy workplace goes beyond what you see at first glance, and includes essential factors like temperature and air quality.
No matter what type of business, it is critical that the work environment is equipped with the following elements: Carbon Monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, thermostats, exhaust fans and an efficient HVAC system.
Based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, there are certain requirements and measures that a business is required to follow in order to remain lawful, in addition to providing both customers and employees with an acceptable environment.
The main goal is preventing illnesses and injures for everyone.
HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Although typically the system has a 15 to 20 year lifespan, if it isn’t maintained properly, it could cause costly and risky issues. A commercial HVAC system is a kind of large unit that is responsible for providing comfortable temperatures and quality air flow inside of commercial buildings and businesses.
Sales can be lost if an HVAC system fails. If the environment isn’t comfortable for customers, it may impact their decision of staying or returning. It is very important to have a seasonal maintenance checklist for your HVAC system from companies like Expert HVAC Care in Pittsburgh to make sure the business or commercial building is comfortable in all seasons. Although for any business sales are obviously very important, that issue is easily outweighed by health. If the business has perishable items, then one of the factors playing a role in these items safety is temperature.
Another important factor is air quality. Schools, businesses and the individuals occupying their buildings can be affected easily by bacteria when the HVAC systems isn’t maintained properly. When bacteria grows, it can have a negative effect on customers, workers, and anyone else going in out and out of a building. Other issues include leaking or frozen pipes. For a healthy and safe atmosphere, it is essential to have an efficient HVAC system.
Thermostats and Exhaust Fans
Thermostats and exhaust fans are correlated with an HVAC system. Moisture and heat both impact the harsh odors being present and build-up of mildew and mold. Exhaust fans help to keep a business sanitary and this is particularly important in kitchens and bathrooms. Exhaust fans can also help with limiting dust from accumulating in the air.
With thermostats, it is very important that they produce comfortable temperatures and read correctly. Uncomfortable temperatures may cause customers or employees to use up more energy than is really necessary for accommodating the body. That is obviously a risk factor. Having severe temperatures may result in hypothermia or heat stress. A thermostat is not only necessary for safety and health reasons, it is needed for productivity as well. It is difficult having one without having the other.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Detectors
Emergencies can take place at any time, and since most individuals spend most of their days in the workplace, it needs to safe to be in. Carbon Monoxide detectors and smoke detectors need to be up-to-date, have the proper batteries installed and create a clear alert whenever one of these devices detects Carbon Monoxide or threat of a fire. Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors both needed to be checked for functionality and maintained on a regular basis.
In the event of an emergency, the workplace needs to have an emergency exit plan and obvious emergency exit signs. If you don’t know what the emergency plan is or where the emergency exists are located, it is critical to obtain this knowledge immediately. Emergency exist signs need to all be lit enough for an individual with normal vision to be able to see it. They are usually lit in green or red.
In addition to these considerations, it is also recommended that safety seminars be held for a company’s employees. These may include going over the emergency plan, CPR certification training, how to access and make use of safety kits and much more. It is often half the battle getting everyone well prepared and on the same page.
Some business go even further with their health programs and plans. They may include groups for staying fit together and health education courses. Programs and plans such as these are on the rise inside businesses, with corporate social responsibility strategies continuing to grow. Many employees really appreciate these kinds of programs, and like participating in programs that focus on improving themselves as well as the overall workplace.
Commercial property owners and business owners are responsible for taking on these health and safety concerns for customers, employees and anyone else occupying the building. All of these aspects need to covered consistently. A workplace’s health needs and safety features need to be stayed on top of to ensure a happy, productive and well functioning workplace.
As previously mention, there is a lot more to workplace safety and health than first meets the eyes. That is why owners should consider employee concerns and encourage open communication. A major aspect of the job is caring for the building, the individuals inside of it and providing the correct elements so that everyone is prepared.