Doubts about the air quality in classrooms? Report it

Doubts about the air quality in classrooms? Report it

Servicepoint is low threshold way to ask questions

30-09-2021

MAASTRICHT. Employees and students who have questions about the quality of air in the university buildings can now approach the Facility Services’ Servicepoint. Because good ventilation is one of the most important COVID-19 regulations that still apply, FS and Arbo UM want to inform everyone and act quickly should something go wrong somewhere.

First and foremost, the air quality in Maastricht University’s buildings is good, says Pauline Arends, head of occupational health and safety (Arbo UM). When the buildings were reopened for a limited number of occupants in May 2020 after the first lockdown, an extensive check was carried out in collaboration with a special advisory agency of all ventilation installations. “They meet all requirements.”

“Still, we can imagine that people have questions,” says Arends. “Many have lived in fear for eighteen months, and now they are in one room again with several others, so they want to know if it is safe. With this low threshold, they can easily vent their worries.”

If necessary, the building manager can take measurements to check the air quality in a certain room. In addition, it is also a matter of behaviour, says Arends. “We have determined how many people can be in one room. If more chairs are brought in during a meeting, the figure is no longer correct.” There are also spaces within buildings without windows, Ronald Wilmes, head of Real Estate, adds. “The Dutch Occupational Health and Safety Act states that one can only spend up to two consecutive hours in such a space. It is up to you to take that into consideration. Although we will of course turn up if someone has a complaint, we are not too rigid in that.”

The same applies to spaces where there is no mechanical ventilation and fresh air has to come from open windows and doors. With the winter months on their way, it will be colder in some spaces than it would normally be, says Arends. “But that is what it is, we put safety above the cold.” “Agree with each other what you open up,” says Wilmes. “Experience has shown that people can usually work things out. It helps that work at the university has a dynamic character. Very few people sit with the same people in the same room for eight consecutive hours.”

There will also be information posters in all rooms. “These state whether the room has mechanical or natural ventilation and includes instructions on the best way to air the room,” says Arends.

If you have any questions or something to report regarding air quality, please send an e-mail to [email protected]