Steps for handling all IAQ issues
For all IAQ issues it is critical to document the description of the concern, time, location and date of the occurrences to create an IAQ log.
USQ employees who have concerns regarding indoor air quality incidents should immediately inform their supervisor. The supervisor should undertake a preliminary inspection to determine the presence of obvious contaminants. If a chemical contaminant e.g. gas is suspected and or staff in the area are being affected the area should be vacated without delay.
The supervisor can then begin with an initial survey:
- Identify signs and symptoms of ill health
- Investigate the ventilation system
- Survey the pattern of occupancy and complaints
- Generally discuss the nature of the problems
- Some preliminary measurements of temperature, humidity and airflow pattern may also be useful (USQSafe can assist with this)
- Identifying possible sources of contaminants (both indoors and outdoors)
Indoor air investigations
Depending on the results of the initial survey a detailed site survey or investigation may be conducted by an Occupational Hygiene and Environmental consultant. This may include:
- Measuring ventilation
- Obtaining detailed information about the temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels
- Measuring for individual contaminants
- Sampling for airborne microbial contaminants and those on surfaces or in reservoirs (if applicable)
Measuring individual contaminants depends on what happens in the area, what types of activities are carried out there, the age of the building and even the traffic flow outside the building e.g. is there a lot of traffic emissions entering the area?
Decision making after the investigation
Decisions on testing will be made in consultation with USQSafe, Campus Services and the occupants of the area and will determine if the space is adequate for occupation.