Poor indoor air quality in the workplace is costing UK businesses £billions a year. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2008 reported that 2.1 million employees in the UK suffered from illness believed to have been caused by or made worse by work. 20% of days lost are due to direct injury at work and 15% to long term ailments. Once stress and muscular conditions are accounted for the remaining causes of days lost are mainly allergy related or due to minor conditions such as colds, both of which can be directly connected to poor indoor air quality.
The CBI "Absence and Workplace Health Survey 2011" stated there were 190 million days lost in the UK in 2010 with the median direct cost for each absent employee being £760. The CIPD say that minor illnesses are the biggest influence behind short term illness, accounting for nearly 70% of days lost.
The desire to reduce outside air leakage and energy costs has resulted in buildings becoming increasing "sealed" or "tight". Air conditioning and air recirculation systems have significantly reduced the amount of outside air brought into a building, allowing biological contaminants (bacteria, pollen, mould spores) and chemical contaminants (VOC's such as formaldehyde given off by furnishings, fixtures/ fittings/ office equipment) to build up.
A 2012 survey by the British Allergy Foundation found 5.7 million workers in the UK could be allergic to their office. 64 million sick days p.a. are due to allergies and staff suffering from allergies at work are 40% less productive.
Cross contamination at work is a costly problem. Proctor & Gamble estimate the cost of the common cold to the UK economy at £42 billion p.a. and 90% of UK workers admit to going to work with a cold.
When NASA first had the vision of a permanently manned space station, indoor air quality was an enormous challenge. They turned to nature for a solution. Hydroxyl radicals occur naturally and are probably the most important cleaning agent in the atmosphere, often referred to as the "detergent" of the atmosphere. They don't occur indoors as they need sunlight to form, meaning indoor air is many times more polluted than outdoor air.
Hydroxyls oxidise bacteria and viruses removing 99% of them from the air and 56% from surfaces. They also have a powerful effect on airborne particulates such as pollen, dust mites and other allergens, rendering them inert. VOC's such as formaldehyde are also oxidised and converted into harmless bi-products. Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology recreates nature's production of hydroxyl radicals and has been used in space for a generation. For a number of years PCO has been used in, the USA and Far East, in public buildings to prevent mould, fungi and the cross contamination of germs/ viruses.
OffGerm have now launched this technology in the UK providing relatively inexpensive solutions to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in the workplace. Visit www.offgerm.com or contact email@example.com
© Reed Business Information 2013