Workplace accidents, stress, and depression are some of the major reasons employees are absent from work. But did you suspect that the cause of your high absenteeism could be an unclean working environment? The very cleaning solvents your workplace uses could be a major source of sick building syndrome and employee illness.
Many employers initially dismiss this suggestion. On the contrary, they insist, their employees could eat off the equipment and factory floors. The modern manager, after all, understands the connection between a clean and healthy environment and productivity.
What you may be overlooking, though, are the contaminants you cannot see. The greatest dangers to human health in a workplace are pollutants that are not visible to the human eye.
How Cleaning Can Cause Sick Building Syndrome
Surprisingly for many managers, investing in a cleaning solution could slash employee absenteeism expenses. Yet companies typically look everywhere other than the cleaning agents and processes for contaminants.
If your employees are complaining of similar symptoms — such as headaches; nausea; irritated eyes, noses, and throats; skin irritations; and allergies —then sick building syndrome is likely the cause.
Building managers, for their part, look for obvious sources of chemical contaminants. Smart building technology is eliminating many of the usual suspects. More frequent audits of ventilation and heating and cooling systems are being conducted to improve energy efficiency and reduce maintenance. Owing to dampness, biological contaminants like mold often breed in these systems and pipes.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), though, often go undetected. This invisible and odorless source of indoor air pollution is emitted by chemical products used in equipment, furniture and carpets, and cleaning agents. Eliminating these unseen hazards creates a healthier work environment and reduces employee illnesses. The time and cost investment in eliminating the source of these harmful organisms is well worth it when you consider the cost of employee absenteeism — about 15 percent of a company's annual payroll.
Deep Cleaning to Eliminate Contaminants
Regular deep cleaning of a working environment will reduce but not illuminate VOCs. If you are not using safe cleaning agents, the deeper you clean, the more you could be contributing to a toxic workplace.
A safe cleaning solvent has the following properties:
Keep in mind that many different types of solvent chemistries are used to clean specific surfaces while not penetrating others. Understanding the chemistries of your cleaning agents and any personal protection equipment requirements will protect your employees from unnecessary exposure to harmful organisms.
For more information on choosing a cleaner, visit websites like washwaxprotect.com.
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