H & S : Indoor Air Quality

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  • Welcome to the TVDSB safety spotlight for Indoor Air Quality. This training program has been developed by the Safety Department for delivery to all Board employees. Administrators, please ensure that all staff have signed the attendance sheet once the presentation is complete, and store this sheet in your red binder.
  • Indoor air quality refers to the quality of air in or around a building that has the potential to effect the health or comfort of the building’s occupants. Over the years as we’ve adopted a lifestyle that includes more indoor activities. The quality of the air in our homes and places of work has become an increasing health hazard. In fact, Canadians spend more than 90% of their time indoors – and what we do or what we bring into these buildings can certainly influence the air quality for ourselves and those around us.
  • We often hear about what we’re doing to pollute the outdoor environment – but what are we doing to contribute to the pollution of our indoor environment?
    Several factors have an influence on the quality of the air that we breathe. These factors can be broken down into the following categories:
    Building Construction
    HVAC
    Sources of pollutants, and
    Occupants
  • The Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning system (also known as the HVAC) is designed to bring in fresh air from the outdoors. In the winter months when the air is cold, the HVAC system will heat this fresh air. In the hot summer months, where the system is designed for air conditioning, the system will cool the air before circulating it through out the building. Additionally, the HVAC can reduce the volume of pollutants through dilution, filtration and exhaust.
  • Problems involving HVAC systems may arise in older buildings that do not have such a system, or in buildings where one area may be emitting a pollutant or contaminant that gets picked up by the system and circulated through other areas. Similarly, if the HVAC unit brings in polluted air due to something stored or a process taking place by the intake, this contaminated air is what will be circulated throughout the building. Additionally, HVAC systems require ongoing maintenance.
  • Just as with the outdoors, there are a number of pollutants that contribute to indoor air quality.
    Scents found in perfumes and other products such as cologne, aftershave and body lotions contain a large quantity of ingredients. Most of these are man-made chemicals which may affect people who already have scent sensitivities.
    Dusts may be generated as a result of housekeeping, outdoor pollution brought in through the HVAC or processes taking place either outside or even inside the building.
    Other activities taking place in the building, for example a science lab that make use of products such as formaldehyde or art products used in art rooms, technical studies rooms and the air pollutants which may migrate to other areas in the building.
    Indoor air quality is not a constant - it changes over time, varies by location and is readily influenced by activities taking place within the area.
  • We have the power to influence the air quality in the buildings we occupy. Naturally, the more people that are in a building, the greater potential for generating air pollutants such as carbon dioxide – a byproduct of breathing.
    It’s not only humans that occupy buildings – certainly in our homes many of us have pets. In some schools live animals are kept in classrooms to aid in the learning process – rodent excrement and animal dander also have the potential to negatively impact the air quality. Be sure to keep the cages clean at all times to reduce the pollutant potential.
    What we bring in to or do within a building can affect the air we breathe and share with our students and our coworkers. As an example, wearing perfume or scented lotions or coming into the building with cough or cold affects other persons with sensitivities.
  • Detecting an Air Quality issue can be a challenge – so how do you know when a problem exists?
    Symptoms commonly associated with IAQ include cough, persistent headache, rashes, difficulty concentrating, frequent illnesses and allergies. If several people from one area experience the same symptoms, it could be an indication of a problem.
    Be aware that these symptoms are also characteristic of a number of things, so it’s difficult to determine if they result from IAQ concerns or not.
  • Within the OHSA, both the Industrial and the Construction Regulations refer to ventilation considerations as a component of Industrial Hygiene…
  • If, as a TVDSB staff member you have concerns regarding the air quality of your work space, the “Indoor Air Quality Investigative Procedure” provides a detailed description of the investigative process.
    Staff are to first report their concerns to the Principal or Building Manager who will work with the Charge Custodian to investigate the complaint. Things to look for would include occupancy loads and housekeeping standards being met, activities and processes that the room is not designed for as well as the condition of the ventilation system.
    In the event that all standards are being met, the ventilation system is fully operational and no other causes can be determined, the designated TVDSB Safety Specialist will be asked to come in to further investigate. This process may include an air monitoring process, the results of which will be provided to both the site and main committees as well as the building manager or principal and Facility Services for remediation as necessary.
  • Just as we all have the ability to contribute to poor Indoor Air Quality, there are steps we can all take to maintain good air quality in our schools and facilities. First, be mindful of indoor activities. Whenever possible, plan activities that may negatively affect our breathing space for after-hours or late in the day.
    Second, be aware of the location of air intakes in your workplace and ensure that they’re not blocked or polluted by activities taking place near them.
    Third, follow good housekeeping practices – keep dust at a minimum and frequently clean the cages of any classroom animals to keep the excrement to a minimum.
    Finally, we can all do our part to keep scented products to a minimum, especially in facilities where there are individuals with known scent allergies. Do not conduct any activity that the room is not designed for.
  • This has been the voice over presentation for the TVDSB Safety Spotlight on Indoor Air Quality. Please contact your Administrator or your school’s designated safety specialist if you have any questions on the material contained within this presentation.
  • H & S : Indoor Air Quality

    1. 1. Indoor Air Quality TVDSB Safety Spotlight 2010-2011 • This awareness training has been developed by the TVDSB HRS Health & Safety Department for delivery by Administration to all TVDSB employees.
    2. 2. Indoor Air Quality Facilitator notes: A short Review Quiz is found at the end of the training. Print a copy for each employee. Answers are provided for review and discussion • You may choose to print the Power Point Version of this Awareness Training for additional notes and comments for use during this presentation – File Print Print What  Notes Pages
    3. 3. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): ~ the quality of the air in or around a building that may influence the health or comfort of the building’s occupants • Canadians spend more than 90% of our time indoors (Health Canada) Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    4. 4. IAQ is influenced by the following: • • • • Building Construction Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Sources of pollutants Occupants Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    5. 5. Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning – Functions • • • • Brings in fresh air Control temperature and humidity Circulate air throughout the building Dilution, Filtration, Exhaust Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    6. 6. Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning – Potential Issues • Older buildings • Activities within an area of the building • Environment outside the uptake • System Maintenance Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    7. 7. Sources of Pollutants • Scented products (perfumes, cologne, cleansers) • Dusts (housekeeping, indoor/outdoor processes) • Science labs, art rooms, copying & printing areas • IAQ varies by time, location and activities Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    8. 8. Occupants • Over capacity of the occupants • Animals – excrement and dander • What is brought in by/on the occupants ie; furniture items and refrigerators • Changes we make to the environment Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    9. 9. When to Suspect IAQ issues? • Symptoms disappear after leaving the potentially polluted area (Cough, headache, rashes, difficulty concentrating, allergies, etc) • Several staff working in the same area present with the same symptoms • Symptoms are vague and potentially describe a variety of ailments Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    10. 10. Within the Occupational Health and Safety Act: O. Reg 851 – Industrial Establishment Section 127 – 129: addresses ventilation and temperature control O. Reg 213/91 Construction Regulation Sections 46-48 ventilation in construction projects Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    11. 11. What if I think there are IAQ issues in my workplace? (TVDSB “Indoor Air Quality Investigative Procedure”) • Report concerns to your Principal or Building Manager • Principal or Building Manager investigates • TVDSB Safety Specialist investigates Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    12. 12. What can I do to help maintain good Indoor Air Quality in my workplace? • Be mindful of indoor activities • Don’t block air intakes • Follow good housekeeping practices & keep animal cages free of excrement • Keep scented products to a minimum • Do not bring personal furniture items into the workplace Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    13. 13. Resources Safety Smart Online Healthy Schools.com Health Canada Occupational Health and Safety Act TVDSB – “Indoor Air Quality Investigative Procedure” Indoor Air Quality 2010-2011
    14. 14. Indoor Air Quality 1. The Occupational Health and Safety Act addresses ventilation and temperature control. TRUE 2. FALSE HVAC means Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning TRUE 4. FALSE The Thames Valley District School Board has an Indoor Air Quality Investigative Procedure available to all employees on the www.tvdsb.ca website TRUE 3. Quiz FALSE If you are concerned about Indoor Air Quality in your workplace you must report it to your Principal or Supervisor first. TRUE FALSE 5. To maintain good air quality in your workplace, refrain from bringing old furniture from home. TRUE FALSE 6. Outside activities can cause a source of pollutant TRUE FALSE
    15. 15. Indoor Air Quality 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Answers The Occupational Health and Safety Act addresses ventilation and temperature control. TRUE FALSE The Thames Valley District School Board has an Indoor Air Quality Procedure available to all employees on the www.tvdsb.ca website TRUE FALSE HVAC means Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning TRUE FALSE If you are concerned about Indoor Air Quality in your workplace you must report it to your Principal or Supervisor first. TRUE FALSE To maintain good air quality in your workplace, refrain from bringing old furniture from home. TRUE FALSE Outside activities can cause a source of pollutant TRUE FALSE Administrators, please ensure that all staff have signed the attendance sheet once the presentation is complete, and store this sheet in your red binder.

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