Addressing Indoor Air Quality: Listen, Learn, Act

The Usual Suspects

Oftentimes, we hear complaints from customers who believe their indoor air problem is mold-related, but we hardly ever find mold at levels that would cause problems for employees. We usually find that the most common culprits behind employee discomfort are poorly maintained ventilation systems, inadequate building sanitation, and construction-related debris.

In buildings where many people are complaining about upper respiratory irritation or dry eyes, we frequently find that weather is a factor. For example, in the middle of winter in New Hampshire, humidity levels can drop below 10% meaning that any airborne irritants will exasperate dryness problems in the lungs or eyes.

Listen, Learn, Act

Through our years of experience, we’ve learned that we must rely on the employees who work in an environment every day to share with us their experiences to get a better understanding of the situation at hand.

To streamline this input gathering process while remaining thorough, we developed a 50-question survey to address various perceptions. Several examples of questions can be seen below.

  • “What day of the week is the condition the worst?”
  • “What time of year is it the worst?”
  • “Do you feel that this is a dusty building?”

After gathering input from the people who live or work in the building, we’re able to target what we’re going to test for in a more meaningful way. When testing is complete, we display the test results in charts and graphs around the location to ease tensions and eliminate concerns.

Whatever the source of the disturbance, it’s essential to not allow panic or wild imaginations to drive decision making. Keep records of the types of complaints, including the time of day and the season in which they occur, and contact a professional to help you correctly diagnose the situation and mitigate the problem should one exist.

About The Lawson Group

Since 1978, The Lawson Group has been in the “White Horse” business. That is to say, we help companies do things that are ultimately beneficial for them that they are sometimes unaware of. Our first endeavor was worker health and safety, mostly related to OSHA compliance issues, focusing on the industrial hygiene side of that equation regarding chemicals and noise, indoor air quality, and lead and asbestos in the workplace. Since becoming a third-party administrator in 1994, we now manage the workers’ comp programs for over 300 New Hampshire employers. In 2000, we entered the employee wellness business. Our primary effort is to work with employers and their employees to make better use of their health insurance dollars by working to help them become healthier and better consumers of healthcare. We welcome your inquiries regarding our services. Contact us to learn more.




Recent Articles

View All

Podcast – Top 10 Most Commonly Cited OSHA Violations

Check out our latest episode about the top 10 most commonly cited OSHA violations and what you can do to protect your workers and your business. One of the things we talk about forever is OSHA’s top 10 violations. They’ve been doing this since the 1980s, and what’s interesting to me is that even though […]

Read more

Podcast – Why You Need a Lockout-Tagout Program

Check out the first episode in our new podcast to learn about the value of creating a lock-out tag-out program. One of the things we get involved in a lot is helping companies with lockout-tagout programs. A lot of it is because of the fact that OSHA has actually been inside of them. Lockout-tagout violations […]

Read more

If you are renovating or demolishing and old building, you need to pay attention to Asbestos!

A lot of the companies that call us are renovating or demolishing (demo) older buildings. Many have been through this before and “know the drill”. Many are first time contractors who have heard that they need to be concerned about asbestos but are not sure why. They need to know for god reason. The EPA […]

Read more

Safety and Health Hazards in an Office Environment

Although we have been in the Health and Safety business for over forty years, we rarely get asked to look at office safety issues. While there is a perception that offices are relatively safe places to work, there are still plenty of ways for people to get hurt. These are some of the common hazards […]

Read more