In New Zealand, more than 521,000 people take medication for asthma, and up to 80 percent of asthma is associated with allergy. If you are someone who suffers from allergies or asthma, we understand the discomfort and inconvenience of the potential of loss of work, and missing out on the things you enjoy. If you have been lucky enough to have kept your allergies and asthma at bay this summer, let’s keep this good thing going! Below are tips on how to help promote a healthy, safe, workplace health environment:
1. Ensure your work area is well ventilated. Proper humidity can minimize moulds–less than 50 percent humidity for an indoor office.
2. Before you begin working, whether at the office, or if you are a telecommuter, be sure to wipe down your phone, keypad, and headset with disinfectant wipes. Repeat this practice throughout your shift for the best results and do the same for your desk surface, keyboard, and mouse.
3. Dust collects on office plugs and cords, baseboards, on window sills and blinds, and can also make its way into the fabric of upholstered office furniture, and even on cubicle partitions. Dusting your work area on a regular basis will help as well.
4. Strong fumes and cigarette smoke can bring on asthma and allergies symptoms. There may be co-workers a bit too generous when applying fragrances. Cigarettes smokers may carry the smoke smell in their clothing. In these cases, you could use a portable fan or air purifier, which can redirect the scent elsewhere.
5. Cold temperatures within the workplace can pose a threat. Make necessary adjustments to keep yourself warm and comfortable to prevent a trigger. Speak with your employer if further assistance is needed.
6. Water is a fantastic source for minimizing symptoms of allergies and asthma. Keep your favorite cup filled at your desk and sip throughout the day. Water helps keep the lungs clear and prevents the buildup up mucus.