Introduction to this document

Sick building syndrome checklist

If employees have complained that their health is being affected by their working environment, you may have a problem with sick building syndrome. If so, use our checklist to identify the problem areas.

Sick building syndrome

Sick building syndrome occurs where people feel that their health is being compromised by the building’s environment; in particular, poor indoor air quality. The symptoms usually resemble those associated with hay fever and colds. However, the difference is that they disappear once the complainant has left the premises. If you have reason to believe that this applies to parts of your workplace, complete a Sick Building Syndrome Checklist.

Checklist questions

The first section focuses on identifying the symptoms of sick building syndrome. These include runny eyes and nose, wheezing and headaches. As these symptoms are more likely to occur if there’s less natural air flow, the checklist concentrates on ventilation; sections two and three look at air vents and air flow respectively. Problems could be exacerbated if there has been a build up of toxic fumes and dusts in the building, e.g. due to using wood preservative or old photocopiers which aren’t properly maintained. For this reason, section four looks at toxic fumes, gases and dusts. Section five concentrates on issues of comfort, e.g. temperature control and the last section looks at cleaning and maintenance.