Wildfires and Infections: Maintaining Good Indoor Air Quality

How is the air quality inside your offices or other facilities? Have you spoken recently with your building or facilities manager about your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems? Proper ventilation and air filtration can lower indoor concentrations of both infectious disease particles and particulate matter from wildfires, protecting your employees, customers, and visitors. […]

Connecticut, Kansas Employers Facing 6-Figure OSHA Fines

A Manchester, Connecticut, construction firm and a Kansas City, Kansas, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) contractor face six-figure Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties following worker fatalities. OSHA cited U.S. Engineering Services of Kansas City, Kansas, with serious and repeat serious violations, proposing penalties totaling $197,642, the agency announced January 31. On August 24, […]

Ask the Expert: HVAC Maintenance Training

In our latest installment of Ask the Expert, brought to you by the team of industry experts at EHS Hero®, we look at a recent question from a subscriber asking about HVAC training for personnel detaching lines that contain R-134a. See what the experts had to say. Q: Is HVAC training or other certification required for […]

Facility ventilation systems

Ventilation, Filtration Considerations for COVID-19 Risk Management

You may worry about a workplace outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in your offices or facilities, but do you need to budget for upgrading your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to hospital-grade standards?

COVID-19 coronavirus

Addressing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Exposure Risk Using Engineering Controls

Due to increasing COVID-19 case counts across many states, public health officials are recommending source control measures to reduce disease transmission, including mandatory mask use in public places. Unfortunately, these measures rely upon the user’s effective compliance, both in work and in social settings. Growing evidence suggests that aerosols may play a part in the […]

Air quality coughing

Indoor Air Quality and Worker Health

The federal government has long recognized that the quality of indoor air is a prime factor in human health and illness. For example, in the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, Congress directed the EPA to coordinate with federal, state, and local governments and the private sector to conduct research on the environmental and human […]

Construction vs. Maintenance: Do You Know Which OSHA Standards Apply?

By: Charles B. Palmer and Miguel A. Manriquez You send workers up on the flat roof to fix an HVAC unit. Is the work considered “maintenance,” covered under OSHA’s general industry fall protection rules, or “repair,” subject to OSHA’s construction rules? You send workers in to a tank to clean and paint it. Is the […]

Build Better Breathing Air into Your Workplace

Yesterday, we looked at substances that can cause or aggravate asthma that are often found in the work environment—both where they are being manufactured and also at the point of use. We also identified some industries in which exposure to asthmagens—asthma-causing chemicals—might be of greatest concern. Today, we’ll look at strategies employers can use to […]

There’s Still Time for a Little Spring Cleaning

A good spring cleaning can enhance safety in your workplace if it’s done with an eye to eliminating hazards. Spring cleaning is an annual ritual that coincides with warmer weather and the ability to open up homes that were tightly battened down against the winter’s chill. The idea of an annual cleaning binge is useful […]

Take Steps to Remove Invisible But Dangerous Indoor Air Hazards

Yesterday, we talked about the problems caused by poor indoor air quality in the workplace. Today, we focus on solutions. OSHA recommends a systematic approach to indoor air quality problems of the type you use to address other health and safety problems. "Management needs to be receptive to potential concerns and complaints, and train workers […]