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  • Writer's pictureHayley Roy

Is Sick Building Syndrome Costing your Business Dearly?

Is Sick Building Syndrome Costing your Business Dearly?

Sick building syndrome can cause a business to perform badly and even close with more sick days, higher rates of staff turnover and higher health care bills. Your most valuable asset, your employees are at health risk from working in a sick building. It might not be the staff responsible for the lower annual numbers. Maybe it's SBS? The problem could be as simple as the office furniture and rugs (formaldehyde).

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a phenomenon which people don't understant alot about. People have a range of symptoms related to a c building, most often a workplace, and there is no specific identifiable cause.

The symptoms are often mild and do not appear to cause any lasting damage. To those suffering, however, they are not trivial and can cause distress. In severe cases, they can affect attitudes to work and may represent a significant cost to business in the form of:

  • reduced staff efficiency

  • increased absenteeism and staff turnover

  • extended breaks and reduced overtime

  • lost time complaining and dealing with complaints

SBS symptoms

The symptoms of SBS may include:

  • headaches and dizziness

  • nausea (feeling sick)

  • aches and painsfatigue (extreme tiredness)

  • poor concentration

  • shortness of breath or chest tightness

  • eye and throat irritation

  • irritated, blocked or running nose

  • skin irritation (skin rashes, dry itchy skin)

The symptoms of SBS can appear on their own or in combination with each other and they may vary from day to day. Different individuals in the same building may have different symptoms. They usually improve or go away altogether after leaving the building.

SBS environments

SBS seems to be associated with certain types of buildings. Most cases of SBS occur in open-plan offices, although people sometimes develop the symptoms while in other buildings that are occupied by lots of people, such as:

  • schools

  • libraries

  • museums

If you believe you are suffering from SBS in your business you need to seee professional help, have a refurbishment and get your ventilation cleaned. This will be a good start to getting your workforce on your side, making sure they are productive and know that you look after your stakeholders.

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