Mould is everywhere. It’s a naturally occurring organism that plays an important role in nature’s ecosystem. Low levels of mould can virtually be found everywhere, even in the most sterile rooms.
Mould may grow indoors in wet or moist areas lacking adequate ventilation, including walls/ wallpaper, ceilings, bathroom tiles, carpets, insulation material and wood. If moisture accumulates in a building mould growth will often occur.
Who does it affect?
Mould affects people differently depending on their health and the type of mould. It can cause nasal and sinus congestion, hay fever, sore throats, headaches, eye irritations, body rashes and other aches and pains. Mould not only has the potential to cause health problems, it can also cause damage to the buildings and surfaces it inhabits.
How is mould identified?
Mould can vary greatly in where it grows and its appearance, coming in all shapes and colours. Mould is often initially identified by its smell as it often gives off a musty odour or an earthy smell.
As mould is microscopic, contamination may be far more widespread than what can be seen visually. It is recommended that sampling and assessment be conducted by a suitably qualified professional such as an Occupational Hygienist.
How is mould remediated?
Once significant contamination is present mould growth is very obvious. In mild cases (i.e. contamination that is covering less than 1m2), mould growth can be removed and remediated without professional assistance. However, it is important to identify and remove any sources of moisture/water to ensure the mould is unable to re-grow.
More severe cases of contamination require professional removal and treatment by a mould removal specialist. Mould remediation involves assessing the mould issue, addressing the underlying cause of the mould growth, cleaning mould contamination and managing potentially contaminated dust.
What happens next?
Post remediation, regular inspections should be conducted to ensure the risks have been addressed and the controls implemented are preventing any regrowth from occurring. It’s worth considering using an independent professional service to verify the remediation was successful.
We work alongside clients to establish and maintain processes for dealing with mould risks and contamination in the workplace. We make sure that you and your people abide by the necessary precautions for a safe and risk-free workplace.
GCG have developed a range of engaging online training modules to help your people learn how to identify mould, understand the conditions that can promote mould growth, the steps for safely managing and cleaning mould. Click here to find out more about our online mould training.
Please contact our team for more information on how to safely manage mould in the workplace. GCG’s hygiene consultants are professionals in the industry who are certified with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygiene (AIOH).