sbs, sick building syndrome, health and safety at work

Does Sick Building Syndrome Really Exist?

Is Sick Building Syndrome really a thing?

Is you workplace making you sick? Sure, it sounds a bit weird, but, it actually affects many people on a daily basis. For years people have wondered whether or not SBS actually exists, some people think it’s a myth, while others are certain it’s a genuine problem. But, Sick Building Syndrome does exist, and can snowball into a greater problem if employers don’t take steps to avoid it.


sbs, sick building syndrome, health and safety at work

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick Building Syndrome, was something once associated with factory workers who laboured long hours in unhygienic and cramped conditions. Sick building syndrome is the name for symptoms you only get while in a particular building, and is not uncommon for staff members to develop SBS while at work. Symptoms can appear differently in everyone, but the most common symptoms are:

  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed or flustered
  • Sore/runny eyes
  • General Aches

Symptoms of sick building syndrome get worse the longer you’re in a particular building and get better after you leave.

sbs, sick building syndrome, health and safety at work

What causes SBS?

It really depends on the workplace. In factories and warehouses it could be noise and air pollution, lighting that is too intense or perhaps too dull, or maybe due to repetitive strain. In an office it may be caused by poorly designed office furniture, overexposure to screens or poor air circulation. It isn’t always things like ventilation and lighting that are the problems. Did you know that SBS can occur if the workplace’s appearance is uninviting and drab? Studies have shown that a well designed and aesthetically pleasing work environment can boost employees mental wellbeing?

What can employers do to prevent SBS?

If unmanaged, employees can become severely ill and will resort to taking time off to recover. However, those in charge should take steps to ensure that SBS doesn’t occur among their staff. Firstly, chat with the employees. To find a solution, you must understand the problem. Who is affected by the problems? Why are they affected? When you know, you can help to eliminate the issues that are putting a strain on your staff.


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