It's alive!

Spring thaw and heavy rain can put school rooftops to the test and cause flooding in low lying areas. When dealing with floods or roof leaks into the building, it takes more than a few mops and well-placed buckets to deal with health and safety concerns. Mould can grow in any building, but it is usually related to excess moisture.

Mould doesn’t have to be visible for there to be concern. Health and safety inspections should include looking for dampness, and ensure that maintenance is being done on the HVAC systems (or other forms of ventilation) which help prevent high humidity. Concerns should be addressed before mould can be seen and before it impacts the health of workers.

Some moulds are more dangerous than others because they produce toxic substances. But all moulds can produce allergens. The symptoms can be more severe in the vulnerable (children, elderly people, those with weakened immune systems) or people with allergies, asthma or other respiratory concerns. A rise in allergic reactions or asthma symptoms should be a red flag to ask about indoor air quality.

The best way to stay safe is to prevent mould in the first place. Report leaks, dampness or humidity concerns to your administrator and your health and safety representative. If you believe mould may be affecting your health contact your health and safety rep or local office, and also make sure you speak to your healthcare provider.