Air quality audits are best conducted by licensed, third party professionals. These are usually industrial hygienists who understand manufacturing processes, regulations, data collection, health effects, and other relevant criteria.
Air quality audits are comprehensive and scientific. Most likely, the auditor will set up monitors throughout your facility to measure the contaminants. These sensors will be a few feet off the ground—around the height of the breathing zone and spread in a pattern that collects representative samples of air from throughout the facility. Monitors might also be attached to select workers in order to measure their exposures. These monitors will be attached to their uniforms, not far from their head to collect air near the breathing zone.
After collecting samples and data for a certain amount of time, the auditor will take them away for processing. Samples will be tested to determine what substances were in the air. Auditors will crunch the numbers and prepare a full report on your air quality.
Having a professionally conducted air quality audit by an independent source is valuable for a lot of reasons:
- First, it can let you know if your facility is safe for workers.
- Second, if your air quality is lacking in one area or another, the audit can help you develop a strategy for improving it. For example, air quality that is only slightly out of regulatory compliance demands a much different solution than air that is radically out of compliance.
- Third, if your air quality is great, it’s nice having that documented. It gives you something to brag about to new recruits. It is also nice to have in case of legal issues, if any should ever arise.
- Fourth, if your air quality is adequate but not great, it lets everyone know that the issue should be on their radar.
Taking steps to improve your air quality isn’t just great for employees’ health and productivity, it also helps prepare you for any regulatory changes that might occur. It’s always better to make investments when you want them, rather than being told by others that you need to make them.