Indoor Air Quality Policy

Overview

Summary

This policy establishes guidance and procedures to protect and maintain safe indoor air quality.

Purpose/Rationale: [Organization] is committed to the safety of all workers and will keep the workplace free of recognized hazards. The goal of this policy is to promote and protect the health and well being of [Organization] personnel, contractors, and visitors, particularly those with asthma, allergies, or chemical sensitivities; prevent work-related injury and illness; and prevent harm to and pollution of the environment.

Policy

Applicability

This policy applies to all [Organization] employees, vendors, clients, and visitors, at all [Organization] facilities, both leased and owned.

Building Operation and Maintenance

[Organization] will operate and maintain all facilities using best practices to minimize interruption to workers and protect them from hazards, including:

  1. Proper maintenance of heating, ventilation and cooling systems (HVAC)
  2. Ensuring whenever possible off-hours maintenance for work that may adversely impact building occupants (e.g. activities that may create large amounts of dusts; tasks that will generate odors, hazardous or not; or use of hazardous chemicals when no safer alternatives are available)
  3. Use of integrated pest management practices for both building and grounds, emphasizing non-chemical management strategies whenever practical and the least-toxic chemical controls when pesticides are needed
  4. Use of soaps, cleaning products, paints, and other housekeeping products that are odor-free or emit low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the fullest extent feasible. Only green cleaning products (products that are biodegradable, of low toxicity, fragrance-free, and otherwise less hazardous to human health or the environment) shall be used within [Organization] facilities and leased spaces, unless otherwise approved
  5. Use of housekeeping practices which are deemed safer for building occupants and the environment, including frequent and thorough vacuuming using vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters; using least-toxic, non-petroleum based, fragrance-free cleaner if carpets must be cleaned; keeping waste containers away from air intakes and assuring their regular emptying; and keeping storage, janitorial, and air handling rooms clean and properly maintained.
  6. Addressing moisture problems such as roof or plumbing leaks as soon as possible in order to prevent mold growth.  Any visible mold will be remediated.

Building Occupants
Non-Permissible Products

Scented or fragranced products are prohibited at all times in all interior space owned, rented, or leased by [Organization]. This includes the use of:

  • Incense, candles, or reed diffusers
  • Fragrance-emitting devices of any kind
  • Wall-mounted devices, similar to fragrance-emitting devices, that operate automatically or by pushing a button to dispense deodorizers or disinfectants
  • Potpourri
  • Plug-in or spray air fresheners
  • Urinal or toilet blocks
  • Other fragranced deodorizer/re-odorizer products

Personal care products (e.g. colognes, perfumes, essential oils, scented skin and hair products) should not be applied at or near workstations, restrooms, or anywhere in [Organization] owned or leased buildings.

In addition, [Organization] encourages employees to be as fragrance-free as possible when coming to work. Some fragrances are detrimental to the health of workers with chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma, and chronic headaches/migraines. Employees should avoid using scented detergents and fabric softeners on clothes worn to the office.

Certain types of flowers can trigger asthma or allergic reactions. Employees with allergies to flowers may submit to [Designated person] the types of flowers that trigger asthma or allergic reactions. A list of such flowers will be distributed to employees. These flowers shall not be allowed in common spaces, and shall be removed from individual work stations if fragrances trigger symptoms in other workers.

Tobacco-Free Requirements

The use of tobacco products is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor facilities owned or under full control of [Organization]. [See Tobacco-Free Grounds Policy.]

Occupant Responsibilities

All building occupants are expected to:

  • Refrigerate and store food in airtight containers to prevent spoilage
  • Dispose of food waste in break room trash disposal areas
  • Keep offices and other areas clean and orderly to prevent contamination of indoor air and conditions conducive to insect or rodent infestations
  • Keep supply air diffusers and return air grills free of any obstructions within their workspace
  • Clean up spills promptly and properly
  • Stay home if you are ill in accordance with [Organization] leave policy

 

Reporting of Air Quality Concerns

Supervisors will carefully consider and, to the extent feasible and in accordance with [Organization] policies, accommodate the needs of individuals with allergies, asthma, or chemical intolerances. Additionally, any employee may report air quality concerns to [their manager or other designated person] for investigation.

Resources

The following resources may help you address indoor air quality in your workplace:

 

 

 

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