Most people think of dramatic cases of conflict and neglect when they read about a business failing to meet OSHA compliance. Yet, a common cause behind these violations is a natural pollutant contaminating the workplace. How significant a safety hazard a single contaminant poses depends on many factors.
- Something’s Wrong With The Water
- Leaks That Can Lead To Mold
- Sharp Changes In Indoor Temperature
- You’ve Finished Renovations
- Furniture Is Visibly Dusty
- Strong Chemical Odors
- Your Grounds Team Applied Pesticides Recently
1. Something’s Wrong With The Water
OSHA standards require employers to provide drinking water for their employees. That includes making sure the tap water is safe to drink. If the water coming out of your faucet is cloudy, murky, or has an unusual aftertaste, you need to address the problem as soon as possible.
Some water contaminants are colorless or tasteless, so there may be hidden threats you’re entirely unaware of. Regular water testing (especially after you’ve had plumbing work done) is a smart way to keep your employees safe.
2. Leaks Can Lead To Mold
Leaks can appear anywhere in your building — around doors and windows, in your roof or basement, etc. If your office is unusually humid, water may have leaked into your HVAC system.
No matter where and how moisture gets inside, it will linger there unless someone does something about it. It’s only a matter of time before mold appears. Our specialists can perform a thorough fungus and mold inspection and provide expert guidance on removing it.
3. Sharp Changes In Indoor Temperature
Unusual temperature fluctuations between rooms or floors of a building are signs that something might be wrong with your HVAC system. When HVAC isn’t working correctly, indoor air quality can go south quickly. Once you get your HVAC system checked out, consider scheduling an air quality test to ensure no lingering side effects.
4. You’ve Finished Renovations
By-products from construction can circulate through the rest of your building during renovations. Pollutants to watch out for are silica and metalworking fluids. If your business is occupying an older building, you may be concerned about lead and asbestos too.
Good crews do their best to isolate the construction zone from the rest of the site and clean up afterward. But the material can still slip through the cracks. Schedule VOCs, silica, lead paint, or asbestos testing to make doubly sure everything is back to normal.
5. Furniture Is Dusty
Dust is not only unsightly, but it could also contain allergens. Allergic reactions (even mild ones) can negatively impact employee productivity and morale. Regular, thorough office cleaning is the best form of prevention. If you still hear reports of allergies, schedule an allergen test to begin a deeper investigation into the problem.
6. Strong Odors
Unusual, strong odors are common signs of polluted air wafting (or being sucked) into somewhere it doesn’t belong. Car and diesel exhaust from roads and parking garages contain harmful gases. Depending on the type of heavy equipment you have on-site, anything from toxic metal dust to industrial solvent fumes seep out of the workshop.
If you and your employees smell strong mystery odors, schedule an air quality inspection. That will help you identify the scent and its likely source. At Benchmark Environmental Engineering, we provide more specific services like heavy metal, hazardous waste, and radon testing.
7. Your Grounds Team Applied Pesticides Recently
For decades, groundskeepers have used chemical pesticides to kill bugs. But many common pesticides contain chemicals that are hazardous to humans too. Workers doing their jobs in areas where the pesticides are applied can be exposed to these contaminants.
If you suspect pesticides might have caused the changes in your work environment, ask the grounds team about the pesticide they used. Check the list of ingredients for any known toxins. We can also perform soil testing to confirm the presence of any potentially harmful materials around your property.
Schedule Environmental Testing Today
Many things lead to OSHA violations. Taking good care of your commercial building(s) can prevent a lot of these problems from developing in the first place. If you’re concerned about occupational hazards in your San Jose business, contact Benchmark Environmental Engineering today to schedule environmental safety inspection and testing services.