Excessive exposure to airborne dust can affect your office employees in a variety of ways. They may develop lung-related illnesses such as pneumoconioses or even a host of seemingly unrelated problems such as cancer, allergies, and respiratory irritation. These health issues can drive down employee production and attendance levels, so it's important to make sure that dust doesn't accumulate throughout your office building and have a chance to go airborne as time goes on. Here are four easy things you can do to keep dust exposure down within your office building:
Replace Shelves With Storage Bins
A great way to keep dust from building up behind your office shelves is to get rid of them completely and replace them with heavy duty plastic storage bins. Your bins can hold all of your files and accessories as well as shelves, yet they can easily be moved on a regular basis for quick cleaning behind and underneath them. Choose storage bins that have front drawers and openings and that are designed to be stacked on one another so they'll function similar to regular office shelving. There are many options from storage suppliers, like Quantum Storage.
You can color code each box or simply label them to keep things organized and ensure that employees can quickly find what they need. Shelving on desks and in break rooms can be replaced with small heavy duty plastic storage bins that are easy for employees to move around often so dust doesn't have a chance to build up underneath them. You can even hang plastic storage shelves in the corners of your office building to free up some space on the floor.
Situate Desks Away From the Wall
Another easy way to keep dust from building up within your office building is to situate employee desks away from the wall. Even if you want to design the office so each desk faces the wall, make sure that there is a few inches of space between each desk and the wall in front of them. This should keep dust from piling up on the floor and wall behind desks, and help to ensure that employees aren't breathing in a high volume of dust as they work throughout the day.
Reupholster Your Cubicle Walls
If your office has cubicle walls that are upholstered with fabric made of cotton or other materials that dust can cling onto, consider reupholstering them with a tight-weave fabric that does not collect dust particles. Vinyl is another great option because it can easily be wiped clean of dust and debris. The materials may not hold up well to thumb tacks that employees might want to use on them to hang calendars and photos up, so you may want to provide each employee with a cork board near their desk to hang things on.
Have Your Janitor Clean the Vents and Fan Blades
Having your janitorial crew clean every HVAC vent within your office building is an important step you can take to make sure that dust doesn't make employees sick. The process shouldn't take your cleaning crew more than an extra five or ten minutes to complete yet should significantly reduce the amount of airborne dust that circulates around the room. While they're at it, have the janitorial crew wipe the blades of all your ceiling fans clean at least once a week too. If dust is left lingering on the blades, it will simply get flown into the air every time the fans are turned on and send the dust to other areas of your office building where it will accumulate.
With the help of these straight-forward tips and tricks, you and your employees should benefit from better health, improved performance, and a comfortable atmosphere overall.