Workplace mould can be a major concern for Australian businesses. As an employer who wants to protect their staff, it’s important to be aware of the negative effects of mould, and to carry out regular air quality testing. If you want to protect your workers, mould removal and remediation is crucial.
Mould is a natural part of the environment, so spores can be found anywhere and everywhere. Any building has some level of mould, as does every outdoor environment. However, the risk of chance of abnormal mould growth increases when the building has a history of water leaks, flooding, or inadequate ventilation. Building damage from fires and other events can also increase the risk.
As a type of fungus that is common in many natural environments, mould needs three things to survive in an artificial space: water, food, and a suitable temperature. While lack of light is not necessary for mould to grow, low levels of light do help to stabilise the temperature and prevent moisture from drying out.
- Water – Water is common in many interior environments, from bathrooms and laundries to kitchens and outdoor spaces. Plumbing leaks and flood damage can also influence the growth of mould, with water intruding into other parts of the building. In addition, workplaces often have additional risk factors due to the presence of water coolers, sprinkler systems, maintenance areas, and rooftop spaces.
- Food – Mould needs food to thrive, with a number of organic food-like materials present in modern workplace environments. Common examples include carpet, plasterboard, wood, paper and files, natural furniture, ceiling tiles, and certain types of insulation.
- Temperature – Most mould needs a narrow temperature range in which to survive and thrive, with the stability of the temperature particularly important. Ideal conditions are often found when air-conditioning is used throughout the year, especially when windows aren’t opened or when ventilation systems are poorly designed or broken.
Workplace Mould Problems and Solutions
Common symptoms from mould exposure include nausea, itchy or runny eyes and nose, and headaches. These issues are especially important in order to protect people who suffer from issues such as asthma, allergies, or bronchitis.
Australian employers need to comply with national and state laws regarding occupational health and safety. Even when visible signs of mould are not present, an air quality check is advised to test your air quality in order to ensure the health of your employees. Along with access to advanced testing equipment, we can remove mould and offer you mould prevention tips to keep your workplace safe.
At IECL, we can measure mould in the air across a range of building and applications. From houses and residential spaces through to commercial, industrial, and agricultural buildings, we can identify air quality issues in a range of buildings and environments. The air you breathe is just as important as the tools you use or the safety practices you adopt.
If you want to check the indoor air quality in your office or workplace, please call IECL today to speak with one of our friendly technicians at 1300 032 004.