As an employer, one of your responsibilities is to ensure that your employees are working in a safe workplace. This means one that meets certain safety standards – the building should be up to code, should not contain any fire hazards, and should be free of mold. To meet this last requirement, here are a few things you should know about mold.
Whether you are responsible for the health and safety of others as an employer, landlord, or school administrator, or simply trying to keep your family safe and healthy as a homeowner, it’s important to know how to spot signs of toxic mold. Mold can present a threat very quietly, so that it may not be noticeable until it has reached a certain level. If you see any of these signs in your employees or others who spend a good amount of time in your building, get the building checked immediately:
Mold grows in a combination of oxygen and moisture. There are several ways in which these two factors can come together inside a building, such as a faulty pipe bursting, flooding in a basement, or a broken shingle on a roof. If any of these issues go unchecked (or, if checked, it is not fixed properly), toxic mold can start to form. It is important that, if you hire someone to fix an issue relating to water penetration, you ensure that the problem gets fixed quickly and correctly.
There are a few important steps that employers should take to make sure that the workplace is mold-free. Have all plumbing checked regularly throughout the year; make sure there is proper ventilation in each area of the building; open windows during summer months or run air conditioning regularly to keep air flowing; check the building construction and design and inspect areas around the building to find areas that may be susceptible to water or moisture and fix them.
It is also helpful to use mildew-resistant paint in areas where many people spend a lot of time and to consider replacing old carpets or wooden shelving. Additionally, try to have a reliable and consistent maintenance crew who are well-informed about mold and who can address any issues promptly.
If you have found mold or even suspect that it is in the building, call professional mold inspectors immediately. The consequences of leaving the problem alone are too high not to take it seriously.