Indoor Air Quality - Green Building

Green Building Indoor Air Quality Management helps ensure worker safety and reduces the risk of poor air quality to future users of the finished space. A common responsibility of a site safety coordinator.

Review MSDS

Identify contaminants and be a good resource for control measures when dealing with specific products.  MSDS sheets are also where you will find Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content for products which will help advise field teams when selecting materials.

Respiratory Protection

If materials do contain contaminants or have high VOC levels respiratory protection should be worn by any employees that will be handling those products and those working around it.


  • Housekeeping not only supports improved IAQ, but it can lead to a reduction in injuries as well.  A clean jobsite reduces trip hazards, contaminants in the air, and hazards associated with sharp and other potentially dangerous objects.

Material Handling

Good IAQ Management stresses proper material handling and storage to prevent contaminants like mold from growing in a space. If materials are stored properly we can reduce risks associated with exposing workers to air born contaminants.

Air Quality

The goal of IAQ management during construction is two fold. First we want to protect the health of our employees in the field and second we want to contribute to a healthy final building.  While best practices are implemented to ensure good air quality, it is important that they are comprehensive and routinely maintained/put into place.

SMACNA Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction

  • Scheduling of Work
  • HVAC Protection
  • Source Control Products & Equipment
  • Pathway Interruption
  • Housekeeping
  • Respiratory Protection: WAC 296-842-16005 

Questions for Discussion

  • Why is it important to worker safety?
  • Which trades need to participate?
  • Who is responsible for oversight?
  • What equipment & materials are involved?
  • How is it communicated & monitored?
  • How is it measured & reported?

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.