Indoor air quality

Concerned about the air quality in your workplace?

Air quality concerns are usually linked to contaminants (such as mould, dust, or organic vapours) or comfort parameters (such as temperature and humidity).

Review information related to common indoor air quality concerns and strategies below, or use the indoor air quality self-assessment tool to determine next steps.


Temperature & relative humidity

Dry conditions in the workplace can produce symptoms such as dry skin and eyes. Thermal stress due to cold or hot conditions can produce discomfort and affect productivity.

The Government of Alberta recommends an indoor relative humidity of between 20% to 60%, depending on the time of year, and an average temperature of approximately 22°C.

For concerns pertaining to comfort parameter settings in your workplace, contact Building Services at 780-492-4833


Mould

Where there is water intrusion, there may be mould. Mould thrives on damp porous surfaces, such as drywall and cardboard, and may cause symptoms such as wheezing, sneezing and itchy eyes.

If you spot water damage or mould, contact Building Services at 780-492-4833.

If you have mould-related health concerns, contact HSE.


Diesel exhaust

Building occupants often notice odours from diesel exhaust if a car is idling near an entryway or air intake.

Short-term exposure to diesel exhaust emissions may cause headache, nausea, eye, and respiratory irritation. These effects generally clear up when exposure ceases.

To report diesel odours, contact Building Services at 780-492-4833. For diesel-related health concerns, contact HSE.


Scents in the workplace

Scents in the workplace can be perceived as pleasant, mildly irritating, or debilitating to employees and can significantly affect workplace performance. Review the roles and responsibilities below to find out how you can contribute to a workplace that is respectful of scent sensitivities:

Individuals with scent sensitivities
  • Inform your supervisor and coworkers of your sensitivities.
  • Look for opportunities to manage your sensitivities (e.g., situate yourself near a window that can be opened, take frequent breaks)
  • Communicate respectfully and work collaboratively to find a solution.
Coworkers
  • Be considerate.
  • Choose scent-free products where possible.
  • Empathize with the individual and support them as requested. Listen respectfully and work collaboratively to find a solution.
Supervisors
  • Actively encourage a scent-free workplace (e.g., choose scent-free cleaning products, personally use scent-free products, and describe the benefits of a scent-free workplace at staff meetings).
  • Listen respectfully and without judgment to concerns of individuals with scent sensitivities and coworkers.
  • Seek information to clarify the issue (e.g., triggers, symptoms, suggested ways to mitigate).
  • Coordinate a solution that meets the needs of the scent-sensitive individual and coworkers.
  • Check in with employees frequently to ensure that the solution is satisfactory.