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A safety meeting in a nutshell


Note to Discussion Leader: Consider reviewing local newspapers or magazines for stories related to indoor air quality to use as examples. Review the following information before beginning your presentation.

Question: What news stories do you recall in recent years that have dealt with indoor air quality?


Question: Indoor air quality is a relatively new topic in workplace safety. No one had even heard of indoor air quality 25 years ago. What events have caused indoor air quality issues to become so important?

Answer: Energy conservation measures in the 1970s. Design changes in ventilation systems and building insulation reduced heating and cooling demands. This led to less fresh air being brought into buildings, more air being recycled within buildings and buildings that are essentially air tight. More synthetic materials in office furnishings. Metal and solid wood have been replaced by composite wood products, plastics and synthetic fabrics in carpeting and upholstery. These synthetic materials release new contaminants into the indoor environment. The movement of jobs from blue collar to white collar. More and more workers are in service industries where the work takes place in offices, and employees work at computers. In other words, more of the work force is working in office environments in energy-efficient buildings.

Question: Why is indoor air quality a concern in the workplace? 

Answer: Poor indoor air quality can affect workers health and productivity.

Question:  What symptoms may workers who experience indoor air quality problems complain of?


Question: What potential problems are associated with this type of equipment? 


Question: How can we protect ourselves and be responsible pedestrians?

Answer: To steal a phrase from the railroads: stop, look, listen. Also, abide by company rules and policies. Equipment operators must constantly be aware of the limitations of the equipment, and of pedestrians who may stray into the danger zone.

Question: What procedures should equipment operators always follow?



-- from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Safety Leaders Discussion Guide