Overview: Keeping a clean and safe environment is an important factor in keeping a workforce safe and healthy. Dust, mold, bugs and many other elements that can reside in the workplace can contribute negatively to the overall health of the workplace.
Employers should have their building regularly inspected for mold and other harmful toxins. In addition, exterminations should be conducted as needed to keep the workplace free from bugs and varmints. Regular housekeeping, especially vacuuming and dusting, will also help get rid of environment-caused illnesses that could harm employees.
Environmental health concerns can also refer to physical reactions to vibrations and other noises, smoking or secondhand smoke inhalation, reactions to chemical substances and many others. Keeping the environment free from as many harmful factors as possible reduces health care costs, makes employees feel more valued and reduces liability.
Trends: Bed bugs have become an increasing concern all over the country. Bugs in general can be annoying, can make people feel less safe and can cause mild to serious allergic reactions. Employers should protect their workers from such concerns by having the workplace exterminated on a consistent basis.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
HR guidance on environmental health concerns in the workplace.