air quality assessment

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Definition - What does air quality assessment mean?

Air quality assessment refers to a standardized protocol to evaluate the ambient indoor air quality of a workplace environment as it influences the relative health and safety of employees. An occupational hygiene specialist conducts an air quality assessment by interpreting endogenous (internal origin) factors such as humidity/temperature control, noise decibel level, ample lighting, and dispersal of airborne contaminants via proper ventilation.

SureHire explains air quality assessment

Many industrial sectors carry hazardous conditions that involve manufacturing processes that can lead to a disproportionate ratio between atmospheric pollutants and the flux of clean air to circulate inside a building or office premises. Consequently, indoor air quality (IAQ) testing highlights contingent variables such as biohazard exposure (i.e. dust particles, microbes), humidity/temperature discomfort, and poor ventilation that play as culprits to undermining employee health. Reported cases of air quality deficiencies suggest a link to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a concept of detrimental health risks that trigger symptoms including concentration difficulties, fatigue, headaches, and irritation to membranous tissue (i.e. nose, eyes, lungs).

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not mandate air quality control regulations, the General Duty Clause serves as an OSHA-based caveat for employers to furnish a healthy and safe workplace environment towards potential hazards. Given the latitude afforded to employers, regular air quality assessments can help temper the spread of antigens, toxins, and viruses that, if left unchecked, often carry epidemiological effects that can cause serious health issues. Other statistics draw parallels between poor air quality standards and individuals that experience allergic reactions alongside compounding bouts of asthma.

As employers have an obligation to provide a healthy and safe workplace environment, performing air quality assessments can effectively level the morbidity rate of a workforce. A proactive approach can involve consistent sanitation methods, filtering purified air via ventilation units/open windows, and regulating humidity/temperature controls.

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