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OSHA Guide Details Workplace IAQ Strategies




April 15, 2014 - IAQ

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have a general indoor air quality (IAQ) standard per se, it does provide guidance on how to maintain good indoor air quality. In Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings, OSHA outlines which standards are applicable when considering IAQ and points to general resources for addressing IAQ concerns.

Broadly, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 speaks to IAQ in Section 5 (a) (1) and Section 5 (a)(2), which require employers to provide a work environment that is free from harm and which complies with the safety and health standards of the Act.

The document calls out the following OSHA Standards as coming to bear on IAQ:
29 CFR 1904, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
29 CFR 1910.94, Ventilation
29 CFR 1910.1000, Air Contaminants
29 CFR 1910.1048, Formaldehyde
29 CFR 1910.1450, Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories

The document also calls out common sources of indoor air pollutants, strategies for preventing and mitigating IAQ problems, including an HVAC maintenance checklist. The document also details how the agency can provide assistance to facility managers in addressing IAQ issues, including "technical assistance about effective safety and health programs, state plans, workplace consultations, and training and education."

The Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings document can be downloaded for free from OSHA here.

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