October 19, 2006

Sick building syndrome

So – winter’s nearly here and so the air conditioning has kicked into overdrive. I’m sitting here with the hood of my hoody up trying to stay warm and also trying to deal with the lining of my nose and throat being screwed over by the constant draught. The really annoying thing is that it could all be fixed by turning the damn thing off. I suppose I could just tape over the vents with gaffer tape, but I’d need to be able to sneak stepladders into the office, not the most sneakable of items. It’s just so weird that we can be expected to work in an environment that makes us ill and no-one does anything about it. If anyone has any idea about what action I can take to get this thing sorted, let me know.

- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. John Dale

    If anyone has any idea about what action I can take to get this thing sorted, let me know.

    What action have you taken so far? Have you reported the problem to anyone in CAP? Anyone in Estates? Have you got any evidence about the extent of the problem (ie. the number of people who perceive it as a problem) to try and get the issue taken more seriously?

    19 Oct 2006, 17:11

  2. Catherine Fenn

    Hi Mark

    Not being blessed with much air con here in the MSB we had a slightly different challenge when winter arrived; the radiator in our office stayed stone cold.

    I emailed WMS admin and logged a call with Estates.

    Estates were surprised & sounded almost pleased that someone had contacted them (they don’t have a crystal ball for these things). They were fairly quick to respond and further investigation showed that one side of MSB had offices cooking with red hot radiators/open windows whilst the other side were chilling in their hoodies!

    Strange thing was that I seem to have been the only one to report it to Estates.
    So if you haven’t already, give them a bell ;-)


    23 Oct 2006, 15:47

  3. Well – it seems I’m alone in having a problem with the cold, it’s less likely to be an issue caused by the circulation of air in the office and more likely to be an issue caused by the circulation of blood through my circulatory system. Everyone has sinus problems, though, all of which seems to have started since they worked here, so perhaps some humidifiers would fix that. The essential problem, of course, is the dehumanising nature of working in open plan, but I guess we can learn to deal with that.

    The coldness of offices in general is often an issue though. I remember having health and safety doing a workstation review while I was in the Farmhouse. When asked if there were any problems we wanted to report, we said that there was a problem with the central heating, i.e. it wasn’t on. This was in September. The response was that this is the problem you get when there’s a cold snap. The two of us working in the office looked at each other – “cold snap? it’s winter – it gets cold this time of year every year”.

    24 Oct 2006, 12:48

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