Guest Blog: How to Ensure a Healthy, Mold-free Workplace by Albert Krav
How to Ensure a Healthy, Mold-free Workplace
Part of your responsibility as a business owner is to maintain a healthy work environment. This includes being up to code in a variety of areas, such as safety, notifications, conduct, and cleanliness. Section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect their workers from potential hazards. One of these hazards is mold growth.
The Dangers of Mold: Health Hazards
Not only is mold and mildew unappealing, but it can also cause health problems for your employees or customers. Some people don’t react to mold, but for others, the reaction can be severe or even life threatening. People who have preexisting conditions like asthma, allergies, or autoimmune conditions are more likely to have a negative reaction to mold.
Serious conditions caused by mold include:
- Asthma Attacks Mold exposure can cause coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing in patients with asthma. Attacks typically occur within minutes of mold exposure, but they can sometimes continue or repeat a few hours later.
- Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis The symptoms of this unpleasant condition include pneumonia, fever, chills, severe pain, and weight loss. It typically only affects those with a damaged immune system, but it’s still a serious concern. Depending on what type of business you operate, you could have customers who suffer from a variety of health conditions. You don’t want mold in your business to make them sick.
Handling Mold: Cleaning Tips for Business Owners
If you discover an area of mold growth, your first step is to clean it up. You can wash small bits of mold on your own by carefully scrubbing away the visible growth.
- Use Ordinary Cleaning Products You don’t need special expensive cleaners to eliminate visible mold, especially on hard surfaces, such as tile or concrete. You can simply use an industrial antimicrobial cleaner. In fact, attempting to clean mold with harsh chemicals can sometimes make the problem worse. While a bleach solution is helpful in some circumstances, it will not necessarily kill all species of mold. If you’re going to clean the mold yourself, make sure that everyone involved is equipped with gloves, eye protection, and respirators.
- Remove Infected Materials If a material is porous, like carpet or wallboard, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to remove all the mold. It will probably be a pain to deal with, but removing the material itself is usually the only way. This might mean putting in new carpet, wallboard, or flooring.
- Hire a Professional If the area of growth is large, having a professional come in to evaluate the situation might be your best bet. When mold gets out of control, attempting to clean it can sometimes be dangerous. A professional like those at Vital Restoration can safely handle the cleanup process without making the situation worse.
Preventing Mold Growth: Altering Conditions
Cleaning up the mold won’t do any good if you allow the same conditions that caused it to grow in the first place to remain. Mold-promoting conditions include temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees, poor air circulation, and low light. An adequate supply of moisture is also required, which is why mold typically grows around leaking pipes or areas where there has been flood damage.
To prevent mold in the future, consider adding fans to improve air circulation. You’ll also want to look for sources of moisture, such as leaky roofs, to help keep humidity levels down.
Author Bio: Albert Krav is a contributing writer for Contractors License Resource Group, a contractor’s licensing school. In his spare time he enjoys teaching chess to his two daughters, Lily and Ava.