Even if you have a high paying job in a well-earning company and living the dream, ACM Facility Safety measures and training is a must. The most dangerous jobs in the world involve mining, trucking, lumber, oil rigs and aircraft hangars, however working in an office can ACTUALLY be as dangerous as the jobs mentioned above. Having said that, most of the hazards aren't obvious – they might actually just be a few inches away from your workplace. They may also just be around the area or behind the walls. Big deal right? Well, you'll be surprised once you know what these hazards are and they're capable of:
Entering the building and breathing
Let's say that you managed to get a job in an advertising firm in downtown Calgary. It's the job of your life, being a cum laude sales graduate with an impeccable OJT training, excellent grades and a resume forced to be reckoned with. Everything is fine and dandy, but in less than a week, you are somehow coming down with allergies. After two weeks, you're already having trouble breathing so you were confined to a hospital. Just two weeks into your dream job, you've been hospitalized. Bummer.
These kinds of situations are actually pretty common nowadays – a lot of office workers are coming down with a number of bizarre yet unidentifiable ailments, usually respiratory in nature. Rhinitis, nasal congestion and the aggravation of asthma are widespread, because of the poor air quality in offices. This happens mainly because offices cool the places down with air conditioning systems, shutting down the area without proper ventilation without proper air treatment. The result: allergies, asthmatic symptoms and airborne diseases spreading quickly. Aside from poor air quality, these may contribute as well:
- Mold growth, especially behind walls. This is common in warm and humid regions.
- Asbestos. Although banned in most countries in the late 1980s, it may still be present as a fireproof material in buildings. Inhalation can cause numerous lung diseases – it has been shown that it is carcinogenic.
- Dust, dust mites and other allergens.
Printing and photocopying documents
Almost every office work involves paperwork, and paperwork utilizes photocopying machines and laser printers. Their importance in any office setting is cannot be stressed enough. After all, where would we all be without them? We wouldn't get any work done and things signed. Little do we know however, that operating them presents numerous health risks.
Let's look at the innocent laser printer, a versatile machine that can print almost anything on paper. Do you smell that strong smell that comes after printing? Well, you just inhaled toner, and so did the rest of the people in your workplace. So what? Well, it's like inhaling several sticks of tobacco and laser printers are working non-stop, the air quality is comparable to that of an underground mine.
We're not done yet – check your photocopier. Know that smell when a freshly copied document comes out of it? Well, it's filled with ozone, a toxic compound that could lead to chest pain, throat irritation and lung problems. Although the released amounts are that high, mainly because all photocopiers have filters. However, when was the last time anyone cleaned the filter anyway?
Overall, there's no quick way to resolving these problems. All you can do is have your office maintain the equipment and check if there's something wrong with the building!