We need to be mindful of the places in which we spend most of our day. For many of us, that will be our workplace. Aside from all of the commonly known risks of injuries, such as slips, trips, and falls, our environment itself can be a major contributor to some long-term and even fatally dangerous issues that we might fact. Sick building syndrome is real, and it affects thousands of people every year. Here, we’re going to look at a few of the risks that you should keep in mind and what can be done about them.
The air your breathe
The very air around you could be one of the health risks that are most worthy of your attention. You might not be able to notice changes in air quality, but as the ventilation and air conditioning facilities of a building break down over time or perhaps don’t get the maintenance that they require, then there can be a much greater density of bacteria and allergens in the air than you might realize. Aside from being an unpleasant thought, poor air quality can cause or exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma. A little fresh air alone isn’t enough, you need to address these problems, such as by having HVAC servicing done more often, as well as looking at additional appliances that can improve air quality, such as a dehumidifier.
Some allergens are more dangerous than others
Not all buildings are going to experience the same kind of air quality problems. In some, the increased rate of allergens and dust in the air can be bad enough, but older buildings are at particular risk of causing serious diseases if they’re not appropriately modified for modern use. Some of them use materials that can break off, infecting the very air that you breathe and posing a real risk to your long-term safety. One of the most prominent risks in these older buildings is asbestos, and you only need to take a look at the mesothelioma survival rate to get a good idea of how serious a risk that can be. If you have any suspicions that an older building you’re in is making you sick, then getting legal assistance may be your best option.
The risk of injuries to your back and joints
If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk working, then you need to make sure that enough care is being taken to prevent the risk of chronic pain. Repetitive movements and a lack of support for your body can lead to an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries. In case you’re wondering how serious these risks really are, just know that back injuries are a leading cause of long-term disability claims. Taking breaks more frequently is all well and good but the onus really lies on your employer to make sure that you get the ergonomic furniture needed to support you as you work.
It’s your employer’s responsibility to make sure that your work environment is one that’s safe to work in. Highlight any risks you spot to them and, if they fail to address them, be ready to ensure they’re held responsible for any time your workplace gets you sick.