The city of Imatra's operating model and instructions for controlling indoor air problems
General principles in preventing problems
Indoor air problems must be prevented before they arise. The goal can be reached by:
- With good property maintenance.
- With timely corrective measures.
- By accelerating the overhaul program.
- By determined adherence to the Repair Investment Program (PTS).
- With sufficient indoor climate-related expertise already in the new construction and renovation planning phase.
- With training and staff guidance.
- Follow the Kuivaketju 10 instructions.
- With quick response to various problem indicators.
- With the management's commitment and multi-professional cooperation.
- With regular symptom and indoor air surveys.
Proactive action is very important. Everyone should pay attention to the shortcomings of the building, equipment or other installations and their incorrect use or insufficient maintenance. Findings are reported to the supervisor and Mitra in the property's fault notification system or directly to the site's technical property manager.
Another way to solve indoor air problems is to prioritize reporting symptoms. If an employee or regular user of the facility (for example, a student) develops prolonged eye or respiratory symptoms or other symptoms suspected to be related to the indoor climate, it is important to contact school health care or occupational health care. The personnel must be sufficiently familiar with the notification procedures. The supervisor of the unit must know how to act in the above-mentioned situations.
The task of the indoor air working group is to recommend or have those responsible for the maintenance of the building carry out sufficient structural investigations, condition measurements, and condition and symptom surveys directed at users.
The expert conducting research and investigations must have the necessary qualifications to investigate the chemical, physical and biological factors that cause harm to health. Measurements, investigations and investigations must be carried out and samples must be taken reliably and with suitable methods. When conducting studies, the Ministry of the Environment's guide "Environmental guide 2016, Building moisture and indoor air technical condition study" is taken into account. When choosing repair methods, the Ministry of the Environment's guide "Repair of a building damaged by moisture and mold" (2016) and "Repair of school buildings with indoor air problems, part 2" (2008) are taken into account.
The author of the research is asked for a research plan, which is approved by the indoor air working group.
Principles of corrective measures
After the studies, it is necessary to evaluate what kind of repairs can be used to eliminate or reduce indoor air hazards so that the premises can be considered to meet the requirements of legislation (e.g. the Health Protection Act). The results of the study and the researcher's repair plan are reviewed and approved by the indoor air working group.
The presented repair method options are a compromise between the scope of the repair work and the costs of the repairs, however, so that by following the instructions, users can be guaranteed healthy premises.
Larger renovation plans are ordered from a qualified designer "The Ministry of the Environment's instruction on the eligibility of building designers, YM2/601/2015".
In a location where indoor air problems have been identified, moving to evacuation rooms may be considered. In the case of daycare centers and schools, the principles approved by the city government regarding transitioning to evasion are followed ( Evacuation space principles for kindergartens and schools in the city of Imatra). For premises other than schools and kindergartens, the above-mentioned emergency room principles guide the judgment when deciding on emergency room solutions.
General principles of communication
Regarding indoor air problems, the city's general communication principles are followed. Due to the complex nature of the problems and the required expertise, the indoor air working group is responsible for informing and coordinating the information regarding indoor air problems and their management, which can ask for help from the city's communication team. If necessary, the notification can be handled through the area of responsibility, for example if the notification concerns operational changes or arrangements. Mitra can also take care of the information, if the information concerns purely real estate technical issues.
- Adding information: the contact persons are told, timely information about the progress of the indoor air problem solution process is passed on, future schedules and actions are anticipated as far as possible, misunderstandings are corrected.
- Taking care of the intelligibility of communication: everyday language is used and the focus is on the essentials.
- Emphasis on solution-orientation: the problem is not belittled, but a positive perspective is emphasized - problems can be solved.
- Building trust: listen to the users of the space, emphasize cooperation, try to make the problem handling process transparent towards the users of the space, communicate openly and honestly.
- Personality: if necessary, the opportunity for personal contacts is offered (e.g. occupational health care, occupational safety, facilities management, property maintenance).
- Good communication supports the solution of the indoor air problem. Honesty and openness as well as visible commitment contribute to the credibility and trust of communication. Up-to-date, clear and honest communication can save a lot. In communication, the aim is always to focus on the interests.
Bulletins prepared for users and guardians of the premises
The users of the premises are informed about the progress of the process regularly in all stages of the process. The releases are prepared in cooperation between the members of the indoor air working group and the representatives of the area of responsibility. Bulletins addressed to personnel are forwarded through the supervisor and sent for information to the indoor air issues distribution list. Notices aimed at guardians are delivered by the supervisor via Wilma or in paper form with the students/children.
Information sessions organized for users and guardians of the facilities
It is important that users, guardians and relatives receive appropriate and correct information about the subject's situation and feel that they have been heard. In most cases, not all persons involved in the treatment of the case can participate in information sessions, so these sessions are not a primary channel for information and consultation. The main rule is that information is provided through written bulletins, and facility users and guardians can ask questions to the experts by e-mail or telephone.
If necessary, information sessions can be organized for the users and guardians of the premises, which discuss the indoor air problems of the site, the investigations carried out, corrective measures or a possible shift to avoidance. In this case, the aim is to organize one joint event for users and guardians. The evaluation of the organization of the event is done by the indoor air working group together with the management of the areas of responsibility. If it is decided to organize the event, the object's supervisor prepares an invitation and forwards the invitation to the various parties no later than one week before the event.
The aim is to get as many experts as possible to the event organized for users and/or guardians of the premises, for example members of the indoor air working group.
Communicating to the media
Media releases are prepared in cooperation with the indoor air working group and the areas of responsibility. In media releases, those providing joint information must take into account that they can also respond to media contacts. Corporate administration communications also adds media releases to the city's website.
Media questions are answered quickly, openly and honestly. It is essential that the actors have a common picture of the situation.
The basic principle is that questions related to the condition of the facilities are answered by the facility management or Mitra, and questions related to operations by the user of the facilities, i.e. the area of responsibility according to the internal division of responsibilities. Each question is answered by the best expert. If the scope of the problem significantly affects the city's goals, a representative of the group management can also participate in the information.
Publicity of documents
Regarding documents related to indoor air investigations, the Act on Publicity of Official Activities 21.5.1999/621 is followed. According to the law, the documents are public, unless separately provided otherwise in the law or another law.
Key documents related to indoor air problems and their management, such as the memos of the indoor air working group, are sent by e-mail according to the distribution list. The task of these persons is, if necessary, to pass the information on, e.g. for employees and guardians. Due to their large size, all research reports and similar documents cannot be sent as email attachments, but are stored in the case management system. The publication of the research report can be implemented, for example, so that the supervisor prints the report in a destination where employees and guardians can familiarize themselves with it if they wish.
Requests for research results from outside (e.g. the media) are directed to Mitra, who centrally manages documents related to real estate.
The assessment of the health of the building is made on the basis of risk structure mapping, observations of the building, sample results and other studies and reports. Assessments of the building's health based on individual research results easily lead to incorrect interpretations. For this reason, every city employee should remember that partial publication of research results, for example, on social media is not appropriate.
Tasks and responsibilities at different stages of the process
The progress of the process and the responsibilities depend on whether it is a building owned by a subsidiary of the city of Imatra or a space rented from an outside party. The basic principle is that the owner of the building is responsible for the maintenance of the building, and for this reason, in rented premises, the primary responsibility for determining the condition of the building lies with the owner of the premises and not with the corporate administration or Mitra. In such cases, the matter is handled by the property management on the part of the city and the landlord. The process diagram behind the link describes the process of managing indoor air problems in buildings owned by the city corporation.
Users of the facilities
Duties of the employee:
- The employee reports the suspected problem to his supervisor.
- If an employee feels that he is experiencing symptoms due to the indoor climate, he should contact occupational health care.
- Reports the defects in the building to the supervisor and also reports to the property's defect notification system.
- Monitor the quality of the indoor climate in your premises (perceptually and in discussion with the staff) and record the observed changes with dates and times.
- Go through the operating model and instructions with the employees.
- After receiving a notification from a subordinate about a suspected indoor air problem, the supervisor contacts the technical property manager and acts in accordance with these instructions.
- When requested, produces information about the workplace and the detected problem for the indoor air work group and the management of the area of responsibility.
- Urges employees with symptoms to contact occupational health care and explains the importance of this in the process of investigating problems
- If the child has symptoms, urge school children to contact the school nurse and parents of children in daycare to contact their health center
- Makes sure that the premises are used for their intended purpose (e.g. the number of users does not regularly exceed the planned number of people in the premises) and that the premises are used in accordance with the intended use (e.g. warehouses are not used for teaching purposes without the permission of the property owner and building control and without necessary modifications, such as ventilation changes)
- Passes information received from facilities management and Mitra about the building's investigations, investigation results and repairs to his staff and guardians.
- Responsible for gathering information about the operational unit in the investigation of suspected occupational disease.
- Instruct employees and customers to contact the indoor air working group if they have questions about the research results.
- After the repairs, monitor the indoor climate situation in cooperation with the technical property manager
Duties of the management of the area of responsibility
The largest user group of the facilities in the city of Imatra is the welfare and education services area of responsibility. The management of the area of responsibility includes the director of welfare and education services, the head of educational services and vof early education services master. The director of welfare and education services is responsible for the practical preparation of indoor air issues for the management.
Director of the area of responsibility (director of welfare and education services)
- Participates in the evaluation of alternative premises and prepares any necessary decisions for the board regarding offices.
- Participates in indoor air working group meetings
- Acts as a contact person between welfare and education services and the indoor air working group
The manager or head of the service area
- Directs and guides the supervisor to act correctly.
- Makes sure that this operating instruction is followed in the service area.
In the area of responsibility for urban development and technical services, the director of urban development is responsible for managing indoor air problems, and in group services, the space and safety manager.
Duties of Mitra Imatra Rakennuttaja Oy
- Mitra bears overall responsibility for the safety and health of the properties it owns.
- Technical property managers are members of the city's indoor air working group and act as building technical experts.
- The technical property manager receives notifications received from the property's fault notification system (as well as e-mail) and sends information about follow-up measures to the manager who made the notification as quickly as possible.
- The technical property manager checks the items mentioned in the notice and the functionality of typical systems and devices that affect the indoor climate. Observations are recorded in the electronic maintenance system.
- Mitra corrects/repairs the detected deficiencies and informs the indoor air work group and the project manager about the findings, the progress of the repairs and the completion of the repairs.
- Mitra commissions the studies deemed necessary (Mitra or the indoor air working group) related to the condition of the properties or indoor air problems, and monitors and supervises their progress.
- Mitra delivers all research results, site protocols and similar documents to the indoor air working group, whose members consider that the matters have been handled appropriately.
- Makes sure that the corrective measures are documented and the success of the measures is ensured by, for example, additional examinations. These documents are also always delivered to the indoor air working group.
- Conducts an annual indoor climate survey for properties. In addition, a comprehensive symptom survey is conducted every 3-5 years for each property.
Space management tasks of corporate administration
- Space management acts as a customer, a contact point and a user representative towards the property owners, i.e. for example Mitra.
- Coordinates spaces used by the city's functions, including spaces rented from outside.
- The facility management manager serves as the chairperson of the indoor air working group and coordinates the activities and the development of the indoor air problem management process.
- Prepares bulletins on indoor air matters. The communications team will help with this as needed.
Occupational health care
- When an employee contacts the occupational health service because of symptoms caused by indoor air problems, we act in accordance with the occupational health service's own operating model.
- If necessary, the Occupational Health Service makes a target-specific assessment, which shows the total number of contacts (of those who suspect that the symptoms are caused by indoor air).
- If other health-impairing issues are revealed, occupational health will carry out the necessary follow-up examinations and follow-ups.
- Follows matters related to the health of the personnel.
- When requested, provides the indoor air working group and the occupational safety division with information about workplaces and the health status of employees, taking into account data protection regulations (group information, mapping of those with symptoms, established occupational diseases).
- Examines, treats and, if necessary, sends for further examinations, if the examinations reveal findings indicating an occupational disease in an employee whose workplace has been diagnosed with an indoor air problem.
- Finds out the health conditions of the workplace in cooperation with the occupational health and safety representative.
- Participates in the indoor air working group and monitoring the problem situation.
- Participates as an expert in information sessions organized for personnel, if necessary.
- Reports suspected indoor air problems to the indoor air working group.
Occupational health and safety
Occupational safety manager
Responsible for occupational health and safety as the employer's representative and an occupational health and safety expert, with the perspective of promoting the health and safety of working conditions.
- Guides and advises on indoor air problems and their prevention.
- Handles indoor air issues in the occupational health and safety division.
- Collaborates with space management, Imatra YH-Rakennuttaja Oy and the management of the areas of responsibility to solve problems
- Participates in external inspections (e.g. AVI) and submits indoor air inspection reports, statements and other documents addressed to the employer to the necessary parties for information
- Reports suspected indoor air problems to the indoor air working group.
- Acts as secretary of the indoor air working group.
Health and safety representative
- Acts as a representative of the personnel and as an occupational health and safety expert, promoting the health and safety of working conditions as a point of view.
- Bring information to the indoor air group.
- If necessary, participates in information sessions organized for personnel.
- Guides and advises on indoor air problems and their prevention, and makes workplace visits.
- Notifies the occupational health and safety manager and the indoor air working group of suspected indoor air problems.
- Participates in external inspections (e.g. AVI).
School health care (Eksote)
- Maintains up-to-date information on the number of students with indoor air symptoms. The notification can be based on the assessment of a parent, teacher or health nurse.
- If requested, deliver the quantities of those with symptoms to environmental health care.
- Reports suspected indoor air problems to the indoor air working group.
- Eksoten's representative sits in the indoor air working group as a permanent member.
Environmental health (health protection authority)
- Evaluates the healthiness of the premises based on the regular inspection visits.
- Gives a statement on the health of the premises upon request. The assessment is made on the basis of the Health Protection Act and Regulation and the instructions issued pursuant to them.
- The authority can, for a justified reason, oblige the owner of the property to take measures to eliminate or limit the health hazard. The health protection authority can also prohibit or restrict the use of facilities.
- Reports suspected indoor air problems to the indoor air working group
Saimaan Tukipalvelut Oy
- Takes care of property maintenance cleaning and food services.
- Acts as a key expert in cleaning after repairs and cleaning goods and furniture.
- The representative sits in the indoor air working group.
Indoor air working group
- Develops common operating methods and creates procedures for handling and solving indoor air problems.
- Shares and collects information related to indoor air problems among different operators.
- Monitors and evaluates the number of indoor air problem areas and their severity, as well as the effectiveness of the measures taken and operational processes.
- Gives the city council, group management and the management of the areas of responsibility recommendations on solutions for indoor air problems.
- Acquires and shares expertise related to managing indoor air problems.
- The appropriateness of the composition is reviewed regularly. In the composition, an effort has been made to take into account as many multi-professional points of view as possible. If necessary, experts and representatives are invited to the meetings of the indoor air working group as needed.
- The group meets about once a month and, if necessary, separately for problem areas.
- The space management manager of the corporate administration acts as the chairman and the occupational health and safety manager as the secretary. The secretary prepares the agenda and sends the meeting invitation.
- Trust bodies decide on general principles and policies.
- Members report suspected indoor air problems they receive to the indoor air working group.
If you suspect that you are suffering from an indoor air problem in the city premises
- Contact the school health nurse (students and guardians), occupational health (staff). The indoor air working group receives the official numbers of people with symptoms and problem rooms through this.
- If the symptoms do not improve after the corrective measures taken, contact the health nurse/occupational health again.