Warehouses are notorious for their poor indoor air quality due to the presence of oil mists, wood dust, metal fumes and gases. Therefore, warehouse safety is highly critical, yet owners often overlook or deprioritize it.
Not only does air quality affect the health and well-being of workers, but it also disrupts business processes and impacts the functionality of warehouse machinery.
While natural ventilation systems do provide fresh air, they do not extract contaminants and fine dust particles from the indoor environment. Therefore, maintaining healthy indoor air quality benefits the environment as well as enables businesses to be a step ahead in maintaining a sustainable warehouse.
What Leads to Poor Indoor Air Quality in Warehouses?
There are two sources of warehouse air pollution – indoor and outdoor. The use of machinery emits different pollutants into the indoor environment, which declines the quality of air.
Carbon monoxide is one of the most prevalent gases present within a warehouse facility due to forklifts and the use of other diesel vehicles. CO is a poisonous gas due to its colourless and odourless nature, and it affects the human brain and heart within seconds.
Exposure to carbon monoxide threats warehouse safety and can lead humans to experience several health symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, headaches and unconsciousness.
Natural ventilation systems are not proven effective in eliminating carbon monoxide and other toxic gases from the indoor environment.
Poor ventilation also increases the moisture level in the indoor environment, which serves as a perfect breeding condition for mould.
It is a fungus form that grows in damp environments and may be black, green or white. The growth of mould degrades the indoor environment, making the air toxic and stuffy and is a particular concern to people with skin allergies and respiratory issues.
Warehouse equipment and vehicles also release pollutants in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Research studies suggest that concentrations of VOCs are higher in indoor air. Routine processes like using cleaning agents and spraying disinfectants release VOCs in the air and jeopardize warehouse safety.
On the other hand, outdoor pollutants also significantly decline the air quality due to the frequent movement of workers and vehicles in and out of the warehouse.
Open doors can invite unsolicited guests, such as pollutants from traffic smoke, toxic gases and industrial pollutants that jeopardize warehouse safety.
How to Develop a Sustainable Warehouse?
If your warehouse safety is at risk, you may want to have a few measures in place to show you care for your workers and value your business’ critical assets. You can take the following steps to ensure a sustainable warehouse.
Air purification technology maintains constant air circulation for good ventilation via its multiple air-exchange features.
Many commercial air purifiers are available, like Euromate’s, that target dust, dirt, chemicals and gases in the air. However, maintenance of air purifiers is crucial to have a good and clean flow of air.
Air purification of fine dust particles, toxic gases and chemical pollutants is only possible with high-efficiency particulate air [filters] (HEPA).
The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology and EPA suggest that HEPA is able to trap 99.97 per cent of polluted air particles of size as small as 0.3 microns.
Euromate Pure Air has air purifiers such as HF Industrial and DF Industrial that selectively target air pollution in the commercial sector.
Forklift emissions contain exhaust fumes that are toxic to the environment and humans. It is crucial to ensure that forklifts are not releasing significant amounts of exhaust fumes.
Also, even a tiny leakage in the exhaust can emit carbon monoxide into the environment, which can be fatal for humans. Therefore, monthly or quarterly testing is recommended to check for wear and tear, leakage and regular tune-ups.
The bottom line is that warehouse safety is a growing concern. However, putting these steps in place can improve the quality of air and enable organizations to be a step ahead on safety and sustainability.
Should you have any queries about Euromate’s air purification technology, feel free to reach out.
Clean your indoor air today!