TRENT UNIVERSITY RISK MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL 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 Intent 1. To provide a structured response mechanism to deal with air quality concerns. 2. To ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Regulation for Industrial Establishments. Definition: acceptable indoor air quality 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) ASHRAE American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. contaminant An unwanted airborne constituent that may reduce acceptability of the air. dusts Air suspensions of particles 10 microns or less in diameter. HVAC Heating, ventilation and air conditioning Requirements of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments: 127. 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. 128. (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 workplace, (ii) to prevent interference with any exhaust system, and (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. 129. (1) Subject to subsection (2), an enclosed workplace shall be at a temperature, (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) (b); (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 heat. Policy: 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 use; b. prescribed procedures to be followed when working with hazardous substances; c. the potential effects of any gases, fumes, mists or dusts that are generated; 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 Departments); 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. Background: 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.