An allergic reaction is one of those things that some might see as trivial, but that can be very distressing to a sufferer, even dangerous in some cases. This makes it a priority to reduce allergens as much as possible in the workplace, through thorough daily cleaning and hygiene practices.
What exactly is an allergy?
An allergy is a ‘mistaken’ response of the immune system to a substance that is generally harmless. For some reason, the allergic person’s immune system perceives the substance as a threat and makes Class IgE antibodies in response, which in turn leads to various chemical reactions, including the production of histamine.
Examples of allergens that can provoke allergic reactions include dust mites, insects, pollen, mould, and industrial or household chemicals.
According to the Better Health Channel, allergic reactions can result in sneezing, coughing, wheeziness, runny nose, red itchy eyes, rash, hives, headache, sore throat, hayfever, fatigue, loss of concentration, stomach upsets, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis – a severe response requiring medical intervention.
Tips for reducing allergens in the workplace
There are a number of ways that you can reduce allergens in the office environment. Here are just a few common allergens and how to deal with them:
- Dust mites – reduce or control through daily workplace cleaning such as vacuuming with industrial vacuum equipment, surface cleaning, and wet dusting with a microfibre cloth.
- Pollen – some people suffer immeasurably during the spring. During hayfever season, it’s a good idea to keep the windows closed and use the air conditioning system to maintain a comfortable air temperature and quality.
- Chemicals – avoid the use of strong chemicals as much as possible. At Jan-Pro, we use only certified green products and methods in our cleaning activities.
- Mould – this can often be removed with hot water and detergent. It might be better still to hire professional cleaners to deal with mould in the building.
- Other tips – regularly maintain your HVAC system, paying particular attention to its filters, cooling towers and humidifiers. Make sure to keep surfaces clean, dust-free and hygienic through thorough office cleaning and disinfection.
Reducing allergens in the workplace can form part of your business’s health and safety program, benefiting employees and projecting a more professional image to clients and visitors.
By reducing potential allergens such as dust and mould, you can help keep your workforce healthy and productive, and your premises in good condition!