Spring is an amazing season – unless you happen to be one of the millions of people up and down the UK affected by seasonal allergies. From sniffles to sneezes to skin rashes and more, the annual allergy season is one that so many would most probably rather do away with altogether.
Which is precisely why this is the ideal time of year to be thinking carefully and proactively about allergies in the workplace. The workplace should ideally represent a clean, safe and comfortable refuge from allergies, though in many instances turns out to be quite to the contrary.
So for both members of the workforce and proactive business managers, here’s a quick rundown of just a few tips for taking better control of allergies in the workplace:
1. Dust is one of the most common causes of allergic reaction and is something that cannot be avoided entirely. As such, it is of the utmost importance to damp-dust on a regular basis, to remove as much dust as possible.
2. Be careful when using cleaning products and air fresheners around the office, which often contain chemicals and compounds that can trigger allergic reactions. Invest in safer, more natural products and always read the label carefully.
3. Ensure that any fabrics like curtains, throws, blankets, rugs and so on that are safe for machine washing are washed regularly on the highest safe heat setting. This can help control dust mite concentrations in key areas, reducing allergy risk.
4. Don’t forget that some of the worst concentrations of dust of all can usually be found on and around window blinds and other dressings. As such, these should be given additional focus when going about daily cleaning duties.
5. If possible, allow as much fresh air from the outdoors as possible to circulate within the building, in order to prevent the build-up of pollutant concentrations and potential allergens.
6. That being said, if the workplace is staffed by individuals with severe seasonal allergies, it might be advisable to keep the doors and windows closed, using the air conditioning’s recirculate setting to prevent pollen and allergens from entering the building.
7. Humidity should be monitored and kept to a low level, along with a cool temperature at all times. This will help prevent the growth of mould, which has the potential to trigger allergic reactions.
8. Be extremely careful and mindful when it comes to using things like scented candles and other air fresheners. Pleasant as they may be, they can also trigger allergic reactions in some.
9. Encourage employees to leave coats, bags and other accessories in a locker room or a separate cloakroom, in order to prevent allergens being brought into the office where possible.
10. Last but not least, if working in an environment where any members of the workforce suffer allergies, it really isn’t a good idea to brighten the place up with a few spring flowers. Even if it’s just a bunch of daffodils liberated from the garden outside, they could still make life miserable for those with allergies.