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What causes poor indoor air quality at warehouses and manufacturing plants?


Workers within factories and warehouses are exposed to substantial amounts of chemicals and pollutants, making air quality a critical safety issue for anyone working in these environments. Air quality in industrial manufacturing plants has an immense impact on a person’s health, and therefore, their ability to work.

Factors that result in poor indoor air quality within a warehouse:


  • Exhaust fumes from constant pick up and drop off of goods.
  • Chemical emissions from manufacturing processes or raw material.
  • Poor ventilation, particularly in winter when warehouses are sealed off from the cold.
  • Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Dampness and moisture due to leaks, flooding or high humidity.

    As carbon monoxide is the most prevalent of toxic gases within the warehouse, where diesel forklifts are driven inside. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a significant threat, whereas organs such as the brain and heart are essentially starved. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like and nonspecific, they include; dizziness, weakness, headaches, nausea, visual disturbance, confusion, chest pain and unconsciousness. Building ventilation alone should not be relied upon to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

How does the poor indoor air quality affect your business?

Although air pollutants are invisible, they can have a serious impact on our health. Air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases and even cancer, along with other health effects, causing sick-leaves. The cost of one sick-leave day can cost even hundreds of euros for employer. The indirect effect of it is a poor employer image, that makes it difficult to recruit qualified personnel.

The poor indoor air quality in manufacturing halls significantly increase expenses for business owners in many ways – also by slowing down the production. Malfunctions of sensitive robotics can cause delays or quality issues in production processes. That, of course, shows in the number of defective products, which usually ends up in scrap – causing losses, or in delays in production, when the manufacturing equipment are being maintained. The more the equipment is maintained, the more expensive it becomes to run the operations. The high level of cleanliness adds up to the lifecycle of manufacturing devices, due to preventing transmission of airborne pathogens.

Read more about the subject in our free guidebook on 10 important facts how clean air impacts your business