Thursday, May 9, 2013

How dry is your office?

I was horrified to hear from someone recently that when requested, their employer tested their office humidity level and determined average humidity to be 7%.


Do you know what the humidity level in your office is?

The US's OSHA says:
The following are general recommendations which, where relevant, should be standard procedure. If followed, they will help prevent or alleviate many indoor air-quality problems...
3. Air Treatment. Air treatment is the removal of air contaminants and/or the control of room temperature and humidity. Recommendations for air treatment include:
  • The use of filtration, electronic cleaners, chemical treatment with activated charcoal or other sorbents;
  • Humidity control in the range of 20%-60%; and
  • Temperature control in the range of 68-76 F.
Frankly, you can be pretty miserable at 20% and would be justified in pushing for an improvement on this.

Canadian OHS says:

Are there any standards on office temperatures?
The CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z412-00 (R2011) - "Office Ergonomics" gives acceptable ranges of temperature and relative humidity for offices in Canada. These values are the same as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55 - 2010 "Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy". The recommended temperature ranges have been found to meet the needs of at least 80% of individuals. Some people may feel uncomfortable even if these values are met. Additional measures may be required.
Temperature / Humidity Ranges for Comfort
ConditionsRelative HumidityAcceptable Operating Temperatures
Summer (light clothing)If 30%, then
If 60%, then
24.5 - 28
23 - 25.5
76 - 82
74 - 78
Winter (warm clothing)If 30%, then
If 60%, then
20.5 - 25.5
20 - 24
69 - 78
68 - 75

1 comment:

Kingston Review said...

Does anyone know whether employers are obligated to follow these standards? Are there available to employees to report a situation where these standards are not met?