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June 1998
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 98-123
cover of 98-123

Building Air Quality

Action Plan


Step 4: Educate Building Personnel About IAQ Management

Maintaining and Improving Your IAQ Baseline:

Reference: Building Air Quality - Action Plan: Section 5, "Managing Buildings for Good IAQ: Assign Responsibilities/Train Staff," Pages 33-34.

Purpose: To identify and educate staff about IAQ issues so that they can become valuable agents in identifying, preventing, and solving IAQ problems.

It is important that building staff are knowledgeable about IAQ issues. Typically, facility personnel are not trained to think about IAQ issues as they go about their work, even though their perspective could be helpful. For example, staff may observe unsanitary conditions, blocked vents, evidence of leaks in tenant spaces or other indicators of potential IAQ problems and fail to recognize their importance. Educating building personnel about IAQ issues will allow them to recognize potential problems before they cause harm.

Specific Steps:

  1. Identify in-house and contractor personnel whose functions could affect IAQ.
  2. Provide training and information for in-house personnel and contractors.
  3. Develop a flow of information from building staff to IAQ Manager.

The Action Plan asks that you identify in-house and contractor personnel whose functions could affect IAQ, such as pest control contractors, housekeeping personnel and HVAC maintenance staff. It is important to create, keep, and update a list of these personnel so the information can be used and referred to in the future. The list will also help to identify who might benefit from IAQ training. Another way to help identify which staff could benefit from IAQ training is by completing Step 2 and Step 3, Establishing an IAQ Baseline. The findings from Step 2 and Step 3 of this action plan will help the IAQ Manager identify areas where improvement can be accomplished through additional training or information.

The Action Plan asks that you provide IAQ training or information to building staff and contractor personnel whose responsibilities could affect your building’s IAQ. Both informal, in-house information sharing and formal training courses are beneficial. You can choose the methods that are most effective: structured training courses and materials, distribution of IAQ information and fact sheets to staff, informal discussions, seminars, or self-training materials. However, it is required through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) that you inform and train staff who use hazardous chemicals, even infrequently, about the health effects of the chemicals they use in their duties, how to read, understand and follow label instructions and Material Safety Data Sheets, and what to do in case of emergency.

Descriptions of EPA developed training courses are located in Appendix 2. The EPA Regional IAQ coordinators can help you locate EPA-sponsored training courses in your area. Please refer to Appendix 3 for a listing of the EPA Regional IAQ Coordinators contact information.

Building Air Quality - Action Plan [PDF - 905 KB]

Building Air Quality [PDF - 2,851 KB]

 

 
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