The Implications Of Mould In The Workplace

Friday 4th December 2020

Sophie Rioch

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Office with mould in the corner of a window with condensation on it

The importance of a safe working environment

Creating a safe, sanitary workplace that promotes employee satisfaction whilst abiding by health and safety regulations can be challenging. One of the biggest issues that businesses face is the growth of mould. Mould is incredibly common, however, should not be overlooked. As well as affecting the physical health of your staff, it can also influence their mental state.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the mental health of your employees should be prioritised. A mould-ridden building may cause your staff to worry about whether they are safe in the workplace, which could lead to a significant drop in employee satisfaction.

With so much valuable time already lost due to coronavirus, your main goal should be to maximise productivity by optimising your workforce. However, if your staff are constantly stressed, the overall efficiency of the business is likely to fall. You should also ensure that your employees have a positive relationship with their fellow colleagues and managers so that they feel comfortable discussing any concerns.

Government regulations

According to regulations set out by the Health and Safety Executive, effective and suitable provision is required of the employer to ensure that the workplace is properly ventilated with a sufficient quantity of fresh air. This means that the employer is solely responsible for preventing mould from growing in the workplace.

The document also states that if windows or other openings do not provide adequate ventilation for the workplace, employers should install mechanical ventilation systems to create a flow of purified air. Failure to properly vent the workplace can cause your staff to fall ill.

Illnesses associated with mould

As well as its unpleasant appearance, mould is incredibly bad for your health. If inhaled, mould spores can penetrate your lungs and lead to a range of respiratory conditions. Skin conditions, such as eczema, may arise as a result of extensive contact with airborne mould particles.

The notion that mould only affects the health of individuals with pre-existing conditions is false. Though certain groups (such as those with asthma) should be particularly wary, it’s likely that anyone exposed to it for long periods of time will experience side-effects.

What causes mould?

The most common type of mould found in workplaces is condensation, which occurs as a result of poor ventilation, whereby warm air particles cool down and the moisture settles on cool surfaces. Other forms of mould include penetrating damp and rising damp. Penetrating damp refers to mould triggered by rainwater and is less likely to arise in the workplace, as is rising damp which is caused by the accumulation of moisture in the structure of a building.

How to prevent mould

There are a number of measures you can implement to avoid mould growing in your workplace. Here are some of our top tips:

  • Ventilate your office – open windows to allow fresh air to circulate within your building
  • Keep your building warm – ensure the room temperature does not fall below 15 degrees
  • Check your pipes – regularly examine your pipes to avoid unexpected leaks or damp

Consequences of mould for businesses

Despite assumptions that mould is negligible, it can be incredibly harmful to the running of a business. From a fall in productivity to employee dissatisfaction, the consequences should not be underestimated.

Decrease in efficiency

If your employees fall ill as a result of mould in the workplace, their productivity will be significantly affected. They will likely work slower, produce less output and find it more difficult to reach their targets, particularly if preoccupied with the task of eradicating the mould themselves. 

Your staff may even refuse to come to work if they feel unsafe in the office. Employee absenteeism plays a major role in business performance and can have a destructive effect on efficiency and success if not handled swiftly. As an employer, your employees are your most valuable asset and should be taken care of accordingly. 

Unexpected costs

The cost of removing the mould will evolve whilst the issue is ignored, therefore it’s best to tackle the matter promptly. Though crucial, the unforeseen cost of hiring a mould remediation company may cause cash flow issues for small businesses. In the long term, this may result in a loss in profits.

What should you do if you find mould in the workplace?

Remember, it is the duty of the employer to provide a safe workplace for their employees. If mould has begun to spread in your office, it’s important to deal with it quickly and efficiently. For optimal results, you should hire a professional cleaning company to remove the mould.

Attempting to remove the mould without professional expertise will almost certainly lead to failure. As well as putting your health at risk, it’s likely that there will still be traces of mould left behind. Airborne toxins are not visible to the human eye; they require specialist equipment to be detected. When these fester, you’ll be forced to pay for a professional remediation service.

Call ICE Cleaning

If you have noticed mould growing in your office, it’s best to act fast. Here at ICE Cleaning, we can be on-site within just 60 minutes to restore your workplace back to its original, mould-free condition.

We understand that mould can be frustrating to deal with so aim to make the entire process as smooth as possible. Though none of our chemicals are harmful, we may ask you to vacate the property during the process. In order to create the least amount of disruption for your employees, we recommend organising for the service to be conducted outside of usual office hours.

Upon completion, you’ll receive a 12-month guarantee to give your employees the peace of mind that all traces of mould have been effectively removed. We can also offer preventative advice going forward.

Give ICE Cleaning a call on 0208 066 0360 today to receive a free no-obligation quote or check out our website to discover the full range of services we provide.

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