Overview: Sick Building Syndrome occurs when a person gets sick, but the illness cannot be diagnosed, and the symptoms are caused by a particular building. Sick Building Syndrome can be caused by poor ventilation, mold, air pollution or any other similar unhealthy environmental problems.
The symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome include runny noses, dry skin, watery eyes and other similar ailments that cannot be diagnosed but that go away shortly after leaving a particular building. Employers should be concerned about Sick Building Syndrome because if their workplace is creating an unhealthy environment, workers will be less productive.
Sick Building Syndrome in employees can be stopped by keeping the workplace clean and up to code. Regularly checking ventilation systems and doing mold inspections will also help.
Trends: More and more employers are "going green." Creating a green workplace can help eliminate many problems that could cause Sick Building Syndrome.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect US Department of Labor (DOL) regulations concerning the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA).
Employment glossary definition of Sick Building Syndrome.
HR guidance on handling Sick Building Syndrome.