NOAI Agrees to Adopt NAQI Air Quality Survey
The National Ozone Association has agreed to adopt the survey program produced by the National Air Quality Institute (NAQI). The Department of Labor and OSHA calls for all company to survey the workforce to preemptively identify possible indoor air quality concerns that can be identified by the workforce.
While an IAQ Specialist can conduct onsite testing and discover potential air quality threats, we are aware that chemically sensitive people, workers with COPD and respiratory problems, people with chronic illness and chemical sensitivities will be impacted by less-than-dangerous levels of pollution. Therefore, it is incumbent on the HR department or workplace management to conduct at least one IAQ survey to determine the status of the building.
The IAQ survey is very simple and is an important part of risk management planning and worker safety. Indoor air quality problems are essentially invisible and may have no odor. Therefore, indoor air quality problems are called "Silent Killers". We already know of the dangers fo radon, lead and asbestos dust, smoking, mold spores, and carbon monoxide. These are well-documented threats.
The Department of Labor and OSHA has included chemical sensitivity as a listed disability. As a recognized disability, the onus falls on the employer to accommodate the workplace so that there are no viable threats to the more vulnerable workers. Premature firing or discrimination of chemically sensitive people will bring unwinnable legal challenges.
As with any risk management strategy, a preemptive review of the problem and resolution of existing threats is considered money well spent.
On the positive side, IAQ survey are inexpensive and simple tools to assess IAQ concerns, and the treatment of building toxins is not expensive or difficult. Worker productivity has been tied to the indoor air quality, so there seems to be plenty of good reasons to solve IAQ problems early on. This also sends a positive signal to workers who rely of the good faith of the employer to protect their health and well-being.