Sick Building Syndrome – Is Your Building ‘Sick’?

Posted in Air Hygiene on November 21, 2019


Have you had members of staff calling in sick, claiming that they are unwell due to the air quality in their workspace? 

That is why you should know about Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). 

SBS is a collection of symptoms that is brought on by poor air quality, most commonly seen after spending time in inadequately ventilated buildings. Symptoms include aches and pains, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and poor concentration. These symptoms often clear up upon leaving the building. 

According to the World Health Organization, up to 30% of new or refurbished offices may be connected to SBS. Starting in the 1980s, attempts to make buildings more energy-efficient resulted in reducing outdoor air ventilation, which means that air pollutants build up inside. 

SBS is crucial to address for your clients because it has a number of detrimental effects on their business activities. Not only are their employees more susceptible to illness and absenteeism, SBS has been linked to higher staff turnover rates, loss of productivity, and overall job dissatisfaction with very real effects: 

  • Workers are 50% less effective than they should be in unhealthy environments. (Source)
  • 20% of employees believe that poor air quality hinders their ability to do their job. (Source)  

There are steps to take to ensure your buildings do not cause SBS. Keeping temperatures between 21-22 Celsius has been shown to increase productivity, and office humidity should be between 40-70%. (Source)

However, the most important key to preventing SBS is ensuring that your buildings have proper air ventilation. Increasing ventilation to ensure that indoor CO2 levels match outdoor CO2 levels has been shown to reduce SBS symptoms by 85%. (Source)

Testing the air quality in your building could save you a significant sum of money by preventing further sick days or reduced efficiency amongst staff. Not to mention, this will put yours and your employees’ minds at ease. 

Here at System Hygienics we have the solution. We have the technology to be able to test the air quality in your building quickly and efficiently, causing minimal disruption to your team. From this, we can provide you with a detailed report of the air quality of your building with recommendations and further actions to take. If required, we can also carry out the works to rectify the issue that could be causing your building to be ‘sick’. We are BESA approved with over 25 years’ experience, get in touch for a free site-survey today. 


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