SJWEH Suppl 2008;(4):3–4
Every workplace deserves a good indoor environment
Problems with the quality of the indoor environment have become a new and demanding challenge to occupational health and safety. Modern workplaces resembling office environments that do not have any hazardous exposures originating from work processes can face other problems related to the indoor environment, for example, problems related to substances that are a part of building materials and occur in ventilation. People in Western societies spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Therefore, the quality of indoor environments plays a significant role in their life. Bad indoor air and environments are ...view middle of the document...
The conference was arranged on 29–31 May 2007 in Helsinki, Finland, and it gathered 136 participants, mostly professionals experienced with problems related to indoor environments, from 26 countries. WorkAir 2007 was the first international conference focusing on the quality of indoor environments in occupational settings. Particularly the focus was on nonindustrial workplaces such as offices, schools, day care centers and hospitals, where many people—both adults and children—are exposed to poor indoor air every day. The idea was to bring together a multiprofessional combination of experts: occupational health and safety experts and researchers, decision makers and legislators, managers, builders, architects, and engineers. The questions concerned identifying and managing problems in indoor environments, designing a good indoor environment, and creating and disseminating good practices regarding the quality of indoor environments. The impact of indoor environments on work performance, productivity, and well-being at work was also discussed. The aim was to provide the participants with practical knowledge and tools regarding the quality of indoor environments.
SJWEH Suppl 2008, no 4
Conclusions drawn and future needs The quality of indoor environments is a complex and multifaceted issue. It includes technological, physical, chemical, biological, medical, and psychosocial aspects, along with questions regarding the design, construction, and management of buildings, not to mention legal and insurance-related considerations. Therefore, good practices and validated methods, professional expertise, and networking between experts in all these branches are needed. In recent years, research has significantly increased our knowledge concerning the quality of indoor environments. We now know more about the causes of indoor-air problems and outcomes after exposure to...