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Sick Building

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is not a recognised condition however often used to describe when people feel unwell only whilst at work in the office or other commercial buildings. As soon as they leave the office any symptoms disappear.



Common symptoms are;-

- Dry itchy skin or skin rash

- Dry or itchy eyes, nose or throat,

- Headaches, lethargy or poor concentration

- Stuffy or runny nose.

A combination of factors are often recited as the cause of SBS include;-

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Gasses given off by new equipment and furnishes. Particularly present in new buildings and after refurbishment. Improve ventilation to combat effect. VOC concentrations will fade with time.

Soft Furnishes
Notorious for attracting dust. Asthma sufferers could be a group particularly at risk. A strict cleaning regime should be introduced.

HVAC Systems
Provide comfortable temperature and humidity levels throughout the building. Introduce a maintenance program to ensure the system is working properly and provide regular cleaning to stop the build up of dust and bacteria.

Lighting
Introduce maintenance to ensure lux levels are maintained at correct levels. Ensure defective bulbs are changed and provide natural lighting.

Air Quality
Ensure fresh clean air is brought into the building, maintenance should include cleaning of ducts.

Space Management
Plenty of space for employees to reduce risk of transferring germs, ceilings should be at a reasonable height to assist air movement.

People
Introduce as much local control as possible, include opening windows, control of temperature and lighting levels at workstation.

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