How To Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Remediation
If you've noticed mold growth in your West Valley City, UT, commercial building, it's essential to take immediate action. The spores can spread quickly, and you can find mold running rampant throughout the building faster than you realize. If you leave it untreated, it can be harmful to humans, animals, and even the structure of your facility and building contents. It's your responsibility as the company owner or manager to keep your employees safe.
Therefore, it's helpful to know beforehand some of the safety procedures used to ensure a safe work environment for everyone, whether you're performing the mold removal job yourself or hiring a restoration company. In the meantime, keep mold growth at bay by regularly investigating for and repairing leaks and drying condensation. Control the relative humidity indoors and ensure proper drainage around the foundation. Also, maintain your building's HVAC system.
Continue Business While Ensuring Your Employees' Safety
1. Allow Employees To Work Remotely
Immediately upon discovering mold in your building, the ideal thing to do with your employees is to move them to an area that you're sure is unaffected, or ideally, out of the building entirely. If possible, allow them to work remotely from home or another location. In the case of a severe mold problem, your business insurance may pay for a temporary work location for your employees to set up base until remediation is complete. After all, a severe mold problem can take weeks or even months to remedy.
2. Place Containment Barriers
Professionals use containment barriers to keep mold and mold spores contained in the affected area where the cleanup occurs. Typically, sheets of heavy plastic are hung around the perimeter of the room and sealed on all sides to prevent mold spores from migrating to unaffected areas of the building. Air vents and door gaps in the area will also be covered and sealed.
3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment
The team of mold remediation professionals will wear personal protective equipment for two reasons: to ensure their individual safety and to prevent cross-contamination into untouched areas. If your employees must stay in the building during the restoration process, they should wear some PPE (respirators, at minimum) if they're at risk of mold exposure. Depending on the scale of the damage and the extent of the mold removal process, this PPE must include some or all of the following: hair covers, protective eyewear (e.g., goggles or safety glasses), face masks, or respirators, gloves, coveralls, and shoe covers.
4. Install HEPA Filters
High-efficiency particulate air filters are designed to remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles, including mold, pollen, dust, and bacteria. These HEPA filters can be placed on HVAC system air vents, vacuums, and portable air purifiers. It's beneficial to have these filters installed around your building, especially during mold remediation. Place some HEPA air purifiers around the office to ensure better air quality at all times.
The mold removal process can be time-consuming and intensive, but it has to be completed thoroughly and effectively to prevent further spread throughout the building. Whether the contamination is black mold or a less severe type, it's critical to begin remediation immediately.