Traditionally when we thought of ways to improve office safety, our minds would jump to ideas like fire drills, clearly-labeled points of egress and smoke detectors. In recent years, health has become an enormous concern with viruses like COVID-19 and Monkey Pox still making headlines. But there is a more common safety concern that we are all aware of but we often overlook. That concern can be boiled down to just one word: allergies. The presence of allergens in the workplace is a guarantee, but today we will discuss ways to remove and limit some of the most common office allergens.
Common Office Allergens
Indoor spaces, particularly if they have poor ventilation, are prone to collecting allergens. Dust mites, pollen, and mold are three natural allergens that are present in almost every indoor space. Dust mites have been known to cause asthma attacks, nearly 10% of the population is allergic to mold, and pollen wreaks havoc on 24 million Americans every year.
Peanut and tree nut allergies affect 1.1% of the population. That may not sound like much, but that’s 3 million people, and reactions to nut allergies are often much more dangerous than reactions to pollen or dust mites.
Around the Workplace
A few well-placed office expectations can root out allergens before they even enter the building. “Scent-free” offices are becoming the new norm, as scents added to common products like deodorants, perfumes, air fresheners, aftershaves, soaps & detergents, and more. These are known to cause allergic reactions. And while some folks are excited when a workplace adopts a pet-friendly atmosphere, nearly 20% of the population are allergic to dogs and cats. So it might be time to leave Fido at home.
Another way to combat airborne allergens is with HEPA and Carbon Filtration Air Purifiers. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters don’t just remove air particles, they also sanitize the air. By regularly replacing your filter and placing an air purifier in every room up to 600 square feet, you can significantly reduce the number of airborne allergens and particles.
In the Breakroom
A nut-free office and breakroom is an easy way to prevent dangerous allergic reactions. But we still want to snack! Luckily, it isn’t too hard to find tasty, satisfying and energizing snacks that are nut-free. Here are some of our favorite nut-free snacks for the breakroom.
Regular cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of the breakroom is another great way to prevent accidental reactions to food allergies. If your breakroom doesn’t have a dedicated sink for handwashing, consider a Hand Sanitizing Station and Touch Free Hand Dispenser with Purell Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizing Gel
The Maintenance Closet
In the world of COVID-19, many of us have developed a belief that when it comes to cleaners, stronger is better. But harsh cleaners and abrasive chemicals can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions. That’s why hypoallergenic cleaning supplies are so important. These supplies are harsh on germs and soft on you.
Dial Basics Hypoallergenic Foaming Hand Wash is perfect for office use, dermatologist tested, and proven to be gentle on skin. Remove over 90% more allergens caused by dust mites when you use Endust Free Hypoallergenic Dusting and Cleaning Spray instead of dry dusting.
Floor matting increases safety by reducing slipping and falling hazards, but properly-applied floor mats at entryways can also prevent tracking dirt, pollen, and other allergens into the office. The EcoGuard Diamond Floor Mat is ideal because of its bi-level construction which traps dirt (and dirt-associated allergens) beneath the surface. Floor mats also decrease the amount of time and materials spent cleaning and sanitizing the floor as they prevent wear and tear.