For most commercial businesses, a clean working environment is vitally important. A clean work environment is important for worker morale, worker health and presenting a professional and impressive image to the public. However, it's important to remember that there can be cleanliness issues that are not remedied by surface-level cleaning and which are often indiscernible to casual inspection.
The most serious of these hidden cleanliness issues is mould. Like in the home, mould can grow in commercial properties and can lead to serious health, structural and legal issues. If you own a commercial business, here are four important things to understand about mould in the workplace.
1. Mould is a serious health threat
Many people view mould as an annoying yet minor issue when it comes to workplace cleanliness. However, mould can actually be the cause of a number of serious health issues that can put your employees and customers at risk.
Mould can wreak havoc with the human respiratory and digestive systems and has also been linked to heart disease and chronic lethargy. The effects of mould on human health are greatly increased if a person has a pre-existing condition such as asthma, allergies or a suppressed immune system.
2. Mould presence can violate the OHS Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS) is the legal framework that dictates the duty of care that employers have for their employees' health and safety. Each state has its own specific OHS Act, and while they may vary slightly, the overarching concepts regarding employee safety and employer responsibilities are the same.
Failure to provide a safe working environment that minimises risks can result in punitive measures, such as fines or cessation of trading. It may also invoke workers compensation claims for affected employees. Failing to detect and treat mould in the workplace can be a serious violation of your state's OHS Act.
3. Mould can develop anywhere
One of the most sinister aspects of mould is that it can develop in virtually any environment if the conditions are right. It's most commonly found in areas that are exposed to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. However, mould can also develop in areas that you might not suspect, which is why it's such an insidious problem.
Mould has the potential to develop in the walls and ceiling cavities of buildings if there are any problems with water leakage from the rain. It can also develop inside air conditioning units or on walls and ceilings of spaces that have high humidity due to the use of air conditioning. Mould can also be found growing beneath flooring, particularly carpets, in spaces that aren't adequately ventilated.
4. Prevention is the best option
Mould can not only cause serious health problems, but it can also cause serious damage to the structure of your commercial building. Once mould takes hold of a building, the remediation can be costly, invasive and time-consuming. It can penetrate into plasterboard, timber and flooring materials.
Once mould has established itself in a large-scale infestation, it can be incredibly difficult and sometimes impossible to eradicate from a building completely. The best option is to prevent mould growth and deal with small infestations before they become major problems.
One of the best ways to prevent and deal with mould growth in your commercial property is to have the building regularly cleaned by a professional cleaning company.
Here at Comclean, we specialise in keeping commercial properties clean, safe and hygienic. Contact us and talk to one of our experienced and friendly staff about how we can help to prevent mould growth and its associated risks in your workplace environment.