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At AurStaff®, safety in the workplace is a priority. Read our latest safety tips.

Don't Let Your Workplace Make People Sick

Could your workplace be making you and your employees sick? Maybe. The World Health Organization coined the term "sick building syndrome" in 1984 to describe a combination of ailments associated with exposure to a specific workplace (or residence, for that matter). The precise causes of sick building syndrome (also known as "multiple chemical sensitivity") are unknown, in part because every building is different and may contain unique combinations of materials that can trigger illness in some individuals while leaving others unaffected.

Don't discount the symptoms, though. They can include headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, skin rashes, and other complaints. If all or some of your workforce are suffering from similar ailments, look for these common causes:

  • Insufficient ventilation. Be sure fresh air can flow freely through windows and vents. Sick building syndrome is often linked to problems with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
  • Chemical contamination. Fumes from vehicles and other outdoor sources can easily sneak into your workplace and cause respiratory problems. So can internal sources like cleaners, adhesives, carpeting, paint, and other common materials. Check these out, and replace them as necessary.
  • Bacteria and mold. Biological contaminants can breed in ventilation ducts, in humidifiers, under sinks, or in damp carpeting or insulation. Eliminate pools of standing water, keep surfaces dry and clean, and check for signs of mold or other potential sources of infection.