NO PROGRESS! THE BOARD CONTINUES TO INSIST ON A HARD CAP WITH INSURANCE. A HARD CAP CAN BE INEXPENSIVE THE FIRST YEAR. HOWEVER, IF YOUR DISTRICT HAS HEALTH PROBLEMS, IT RISES QUICKLY OVER THREE YEARS. THE PRICE INCREASE IS BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE NOT THE EMPLOYER. WORKING CONDITIONS CAN IMPACT EMPLOYEE HEALTH. SEE ANYTHING THAT LOOKS FAMILIAR?
WHY THE NEED FOR QUALITY HEALTH CARE AT HARPER CREEK?
Leaking pipes and roofs have proven to be a problem in at least one of the buildings in our district. After several chronic illnesses were documented as mold related, the Health Department was called to survey the building in November. An epidemiologist was brought in to do a survey of illnesses in the building and the the district was required to do a mold and air quality test. The Health Department also recommended that another round of testing be done in the spring because by the time the district brought in the company to do the testing, we already had freezing temperatures. According to the Health Department, freezing temperatures kills the mold and alters the test results. We did pass the mold and air tests in November; however, there were some significant findings.
The most common reported symptoms among all employees were nasal symptoms (76.9%), eye irritation (60%), sinus problems (50%), headache (69%), fatigue (50%) sneezing (55%), and dry or sore throat (53.8%). Employees who spent 50% or more of their time in water-damaged areas of the building were significantly more likely to report cough or worsening allergic symptoms, fatigue, and headaches. This correlates with articles from the Mayo Clinic on mold related illnesses.
The average number of days missed due to health-related reasons was .77 days for unexposed employees and 3.20 days for exposed employees. "The difference was nearly statistically significant." The investigators did not find an occupational health hazard at Harper Creek Middle School; however, the results of the health survey found evidence of an association between the chronic exposure to water-damaged work environments and the occurrence of mold/dampness related symptoms.
If the teachers are showing signs of illness, what about the students?
The Health Department made several recommendations.
1. Develop and implement regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for heating and ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
2. Consider additional indoor environmental assessments that would include humidity, CO2, and temperature parameters. Also consider placing thermometers and hygrometer throughout the building to assist in monitoring environment.
3. Conduct an air balance test for the HVAC systems to verify that it is functioning properly and that an adequate "turn over" of the air is being accomplished.
4. Keep all areas including non-classroom spaces clean, organized and in good repair. Continue to mitigate asbestos and other hazards.
5. Encourage individuals with building related health concerns to contact a qualified health care provider to provide diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
AT THIS TIME, ANOTHER ROUND OF TESTING IS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 6TH. THE HVAC SYSTEM IS TO BE EXAMINED AND CLEANED OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. WE ARE CURRENTLY DEALING WITH WATER ISSUES ON A REGULAR BASIS IN THE BUILDING.
"IF you can see mold, you have a mold problem," stated a representative from the testing company, DeLisle Associates.
Source cite: Calhoun County Public Health Department Analysis and Recommendations Concerning the Health Risk Investigation and Indoor Environmental Quality Assessment, 2/13/12
Why is the Harper Creek Board so ready to save money on our health?
Perhaps it is because they will make money on our backs! See Hard Cap Info below.
Year One of Hard Cap and on and on....