Brian & Ann's European Experience

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Humidity in the Workplace

Just to illustrate the different attitudes between the Netherlands and the US as concerns employee welfare, below is an excerpt from an actual memo sent from the Facilities Manager here in Dordrecht:

"2. Temperature and Humidity in our building
John Q. Dutchman (trainee Facility Management) is measuring the temperature and humidity on a few floors at a regular interval during a period of 4 weeks. Most of you will have seen him on your floor with a small black machine.

"Until now, the outcome of the analysis is that the climate in the building is within the normal standards. However, the feel of temperature and humidity varies from person to person.

"Please let us know if you feel uncomfortable at your workspace, so that we can try to find an individual solution for you."

An individual solution to the temperature discomfort of each and every individual. I'd like to see OSHA try and mandate THAT kind of care in the United States.

Contrast this to our office in New York, where the thermostat for our floor was actually kept in Siberia, and where we often had to keep windows open in the winter to cool the rooms off, the air was drier than many trans-oceanic flights, and a memo from the "facilities manager" might have gone a little something like this:

"Deal with it."

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