An industrial establishment shall be adequately

Subject: Indoor Air Quality Testing
Number: RMP 035
Approving Authority: VP Administration
Contact: EHS Officer
Effective Date: December 14, 2007
Applicable Legislation:
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Regulations for Industrial Establishments
1. To provide a structured response mechanism to deal with air quality
2. To ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act
and the Regulation for Industrial Establishments.
indoor air
Air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations
as determined by cognizant authorities and with which a substantial
majority (80% or more) of the people exposed do not express
dissatisfaction. (ASHRAE 62.1 – 2004)
American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning
Engineers, Inc.
contaminant An unwanted airborne constituent that may reduce acceptability of the air.
Air suspensions of particles 10 microns or less in diameter.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Requirements of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments:
An industrial establishment shall be adequately ventilated by either
natural or mechanical means such that the atmosphere does not
endanger the health and safety of workers.
(1) Replacement air shall be provided to replace air exhausted.
(2) The replacement air shall,
(a) be heated, when necessary, to maintain at least the
minimum temperature in the workplace specified in
section 129;
(b) be free from contamination with any hazardous dust,
vapour, smoke, fume, mist or gas; and
(c) enter in such a manner so as,
(i) to prevent blowing of settled dust into the
(ii) to prevent interference with any exhaust system,
(iii) not to cause undue drafts.
(3) The discharge of air from any exhaust system shall be in such a
manner so as to prevent the return of contaminants to any workplace.
(1) Subject to subsection (2), an enclosed workplace shall be at a
(a) suitable for the type of work performed; and
(b) not less than 18° Celsius.
(2) Clause (1) (b) does not apply to a workplace,
(a) that is normally unheated;
(b) where the necessity of opening doors makes the
heating of the area to the temperature specified in clause
(1) (b) impracticable;
(c) where perishable goods requiring lower temperatures
are processed or stored;
(d) where radiant heating is such that a worker working in
the area has the degree of comfort that would result were
the area heated to the temperature specified in clause (1)
(e) where the process or activity is such that the
temperature specified in clause (1) (b) could cause
discomfort; or
(f) during the first hour of the main operating shift where
process heat provides a substantial portion of building
1. Building occupants shall be encouraged to consider the potential impact of their
activities on building air quality. Considerations should include:
a. The possible effects of chemicals or products being considered for
b. prescribed procedures to be followed when working with
hazardous substances;
c. the potential effects of any gases, fumes, mists or dusts that are
d. any asbestos that may be present in building materials (see RMP
036, Designated Substances), and the Asbestos Management Plan
(available from the Risk Management of Physical Resources
e. the need to promptly clean up any spills that may occur;
f. the University’s Smoke Free Policy (see RMP 005);
g. the prompt removal of any malodorous material or garbage.
2. Building occupants shall report any suspected gas leak to Campus Security by
calling 748-1333 (extension 1333).
3. Building occupants should promptly report any air quality concerns to their
immediate supervisor.
4. Building occupants shall report any air quality concerns that arise outside of
business hours to Campus Security by calling 748-1328 (extension 1328).
5. Supervisors shall respond to occupant air quality concerns by taking appropriate
action, where possible, to correct the condition or report it to the appropriate
person or department. Any concerns about building HVAC systems shall be
reported to the Physical Resources Department by e-mailing [email protected]
Any concern requiring an immediate response (i.e. emergencies) shall be reported
immediately to Campus Security by calling 748-1333 (extension 1333).
6. The Physical Resources Department shall investigate air quality concerns and
ensure that the building HVAC systems are functioning properly; taking any
corrective actions that may be required. To the extent possible these findings
shall be reported back to the person who reported the air quality concern.
7. Any unresolved air quality concerns should be brought to the attention of the Risk
Management Department (RMD). RMD, in consultation with the building
occupants, PRD, and the joint health and safety committee, will conduct further
investigations, surveys or testing, as required, to resolve outstanding concerns.
8. Campus Security shall be notified immediately should there be a need to evacuate
a building due to the release of a gas, fume, dust, micro-organism or any other
contaminant at a potentially harmful concentration. Campus Security will initiate
evacuation, notify City emergency response services and initiate the University’s
Emergency Management Plan (RMP 018), as required.
Most building HVAC systems are designed to constantly circulate building air, replacing
some proportion of indoor air on each cycle with filtered, heated (or cooled) outdoor air.
The fresh air is intended to dilute some of the air contaminants that build up in typical
office environments. In most office settings air contaminants are present at very low
levels, so chemical and biological exposure limits established for industry (for
environments with higher concentrations of a few contaminants for short periods of time)
are of generally of little relevance. Instead, carbon dioxide concentrations are often used
as markers of how well the ventilation system is working. The ASHRAE standard
recommends that carbon dioxide be less than 1000 ppm.
Any inspection of ventilation systems should consider the following:
 Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, toxic gas that comes from
combustion sources. Check the exhaust systems of boilers or any other nonelectric heating unit. Check to see if vehicle exhaust is entering the building
(typically vehicles idling at loading docks);
 Oxides of nitrogen may also result from combustion sources;
 Photocopiers, electrical equipment and electrostatic air cleaners can generate
ozone. They should only be in well ventilated areas;
 Formaldehyde is of emitted from new building materials, including carpets,
particle board furniture, glues and adhesives. Adequate ventilation is required;
 Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are given off by solvents in paints,
adhesives, caulking, carpets, photocopiers, cleaning agents, etc. Adequate
ventilation is required;
 Microbial contaminants such as fungal spores, molds and bacteria may occur in
areas of excessive humidity. Condensate pans, sumps, humidifiers and similar
units must be properly maintained. Flooded areas should be thoroughly cleaned
and damaged materials removed.
Approved fume hoods or a similar, enclosed ventilation system should be used for any
service, research or teaching activity involving the potential release of fumes, gases, dusts
or organisms in an occupied building.