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Improve the Health of Your Employees – And Save Money!

As business owners, we’re responsible for the environment of our office. Everyday operations and productivity depends upon a healthy work force, but all too often this is not the situation.

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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been linked to headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, throat, nose, and lungs.There are a number of factors that affect IAQ. They contain poor ventilation (insufficient external air), problems controlling temperature, humidity, and remodeling, and other activities which could impact the fresh air coming into your building. In some cases, contaminants like dust from construction or renovation, mould, cleaning supplies, pesticides, along with other airborne compounds may cause poor IAQ.As though that is not sufficient, certain diseases like asthma have already been connected to certain air pollutants or indoor surroundings. Furthermore, substances such as asbestos and radon do not cause immediate symptoms but may lead to cancer after many years of exposure.Poor IAQ has Dramatic Impact on Health & EconomyPoor IAQ is a significant health concern. You will find 4.5 million ER annual visits for environmentally responsive/sensitive disease. These emergency room remedies signify over $20 billion in healthcare costs every year from the U.S. And that does not also include lost wages to a worker or lost productivity to the employer.If you add up the cost of health care, lost wages, and lost productivity, the annual price of environmental illness is higher than the EPA and OSHA’s budgets combined. This is much more than we spend as a country to have these agencies govern and oversee office environments!What to do? First, Notice the SymptomsIndividuals working in structures with poor IAQ may observe musty or unpleasant odors or may feel that the construction is stuffy and hot. Additionally, there are the previously mentioned symptoms like headache, tiredness, eye, nose, and throat irritations, but also others like fever and shortness of breath.Optimizing IAQ is the Only Real Answer – but just how? But not all exposures trigger symptoms, therefore there’s absolutely no substitute for great building administration. This brings us to point 2.The employer needs to upgrade the company’s HVAC system. He should look at installing an automated ventilation controller. As its name suggests, modern”controllers” are nearing the HVAC industry by controlling, or tying, each aspect of the HVAC program – heating, heating, and air conditioning – together for maximum efficacy. This efficiency is critical as you can’t fix OAQ (outdoor air quality) however one may optimize IAQ.Without proper ventilation – recognized as the market of indoor air and outside air – contaminants like radon, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants can build up indoors, leading to potentially serious health problems such as the ones listed previously in this article. This may be especially true in small industrial companies that have many noxious chemicals in the atmosphere. A little nail salon could be one case.How do they operate? SMART ventilation controls connect into the duct network and utilize indoor and external sensors to automatically turn off AC when humidity is low and temps are comfortable – pulling fresh, cool air inside – while flushing bad air using its contaminants out. Unlike elderly indoor air ventilation systems such as smoke evacuators in pubs and ASHRE ventilators in houses and smallish companies, SMART ventilation controllers only nourish out the indoor air with outside air once the indoor air quality (OAQ) is much better than the IAQ. Essentially, with a intelligent ventilation controller, IAQ is addressed 24/7.SummaryIt is true that SMART ventilation controls are not inexpensive. There are additional, less costly updates which will help enhance IAQ, such as changing air conditioning filters regularly, along with other options described in other articles in this set.However, when one considers the financial drain that poor IAQ is having on the market and people’s health, a state-of-the-art SMART venting control is an investment which could be expected to reap dividends as time passes. Besides, is not your employees’ health worth it?About the Writer Allison A. Sakara, RN, MSN, NP, PHRN, is Managing Member & Regulatory Affairs Specialist using the Lake Wales, FL-based Natural Air E-Controls, LLC (www.naturalair.com). Natural Air E-Controls, LLC designs and assembles HVAC management systems which enable the building’s HVAC equipment to offer fresh air and remove pollutants by taking in outdoor air in amounts necessary to enhance indoor air quality while saving on heating and cooling bills.

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