Building Air Quality

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

Action Plan


Step 8: Establish Procedures for Responding to IAQ Complaints

Reference: Building Air Quality – Action Plan: Section 3, “Effective Communication: Establish a System for Responding to Complaints,” Pages 13–17.

Purpose: To ensure adequate and timely response to occupant complaints and to prevent small complaints from becoming major health or comfort problems.

Occupant complaints about IAQ may be vague or specific, but they should always be taken seriously and investigated fully. In many cases, the IAQ Manager may be first alerted to potential IAQ problems by occupants. Establishing procedures for responding to and resolving complaints will ensure that all complaints are handled in a consistent and fair manner. If building occupants know that they will get a response, they will be more likely to provide prompt, helpful input about building conditions.

Specific Steps:

  1. Prepare and follow clear procedures for recording and responding to IAQ complaints, including:
    • Logging entries into your existing work-order system,
    • Collecting information from the complainant,
    • Ensuring the confidentiality of information and records obtained from complainants,
    • Determining response capability of in-house staff,
    • Identifying appropriate outside sources of assistance,
    • Applying remedial action,
    • Providing feedback to the complainant, and
    • Following-up to ensure that remedial action has been effective.
  2. Inform building staff of these procedures.
  3. Inform building occupants and/or tenants of these procedures and periodically remind them how to locate responsible staff and where to obtain complaint forms.

Examples of complaint forms, incident log forms, occupant interview forms and occupant diary forms can be found in the Building Air Quality – Action Plan guide on pages 181 through 187.

Building Air Quality – Action Planpdf icon [PDF – 905 KB]

Building Air Qualitypdf icon [PDF – 2,851 KB]

Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014