The HSE-gateway
Indoor climate

Indoor climate

Information about indoor climate, mapping of indoor climate, pets at work and the discovery of Long-tailed silverfish in UiB's buildings

Main content

Both the Working Environment Act and the workplace regulations impose requirements on the design of the physical working environment in order to ensure it is fully satisfactory.

The premises must be tailored to suit the work that is carried out there in terms of ventilation, indoor climate, lighting, noise, accessibility to all, maintenance, cleaning, sanitary facilities and rest rooms, etc.

Indoor climate

The indoor climate is important for health, well-being and productive work.

What is indoor climate?

The indoor climate is made up of a number of measurable physical, chemical and biological factors. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined "indoor climate" as including:

  • Thermal environment (heat, cold, draughts and humidity)
  • Atmospheric environment (pollution, air quality and volume of fresh air)
  • Acoustic environment (noise, perception of speech and sound)
  • Actinic environment (lighting, radiation and electrical/magnetic fields)
  • Mechanical environment (ergonomics, anti-slip protection and vibrations, etc.)

Health problems

In buildings where health problems such as headaches, abnormal fatigue and irritation of the skin and mucous membranes (eyes, upper respiratory tract) are more prevalent than normal, there will be a need to initiate measures to counter this.

The above symptoms may be due to one or more factors as mentioned at the beginning. In addition, various types of stress and individual circumstances – such as allergies or other hypersensitivity issues – may affect or exacerbate the problems.

The occupational health service

The occupational hygienist can provide information and help during HSE mappings and carry out measurements and assessments of the indoor climate. Measures to be taken are discussed in collaboration with the users and the Estate and Facilities Management Division.

Measurement and assessment of indoor climate

The measurement and assessment of indoor climate can be carried out by the Occupational health service and the Estate and Facilities Management Division.

Before measurement

Measures the individual can carry out:

  • Keep the office/desk tidy to make cleaning easy.
  • Store as little paper and books as possible in the workplace.
  • Store paper and books in shelves with doors.
  • Notify the Real Estate Department via Demaned notice (LYDIA) if you think there is something wrong with the ventilation in the office.

The Occupational health service can carry out measurements and assessments is cases where employees are experiencing problems or health challenges relating to the indoor climate. It is important that the immediate manager is informed before the occupational health service carries out measurements and assessments.


The Occupational health service should be contacted if employees have had the following problems/challenges relating to the indoor climate for a prolonged period of time:

  • Itching, dryness or irritation of the eyes or nose
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Dryness or irritation of the throat, hoarseness or coughing
  • Attacks of shortness of breath
  • Dry skin on the hands, arms or face
  • Headaches, fatigue, dizziness, difficulties with concentration or a feeling of tightness in the head

Planning of new workplaces

Good planning of new workplaces can promote good health and prevent injuries and discomfort.


Good planning of new workplaces involves, among other things, transferring the experiences of individual users in terms of how the workplace functions to those who will be responsible for planning the new workplace. A mapping must be carried out of health, safety and the environment and preventive measures considered when planning new workplaces. One mapping method that can be used is risk assessment.

User involvement

User involvement in major building work is organised in the form of user representatives, who are organised in user committees. The members are normally nominated by the faculty or the University Director, and it is recommended that the safety delegate be included in these groups. Irrespective of this, the safety delegate must be consulted for building work. The user environment has a particular responsibility for helping to carry out a good requirement and functional analysis for its own area of operation. This will form the basis for further programming and planning.

The Estate and Facilities Division and The Occupational health service

The Estate and Facilities Division (EiA) coordinates user involvement in new building work and major renovation projects and engages external advisers as required. The Project Section (EIA) is responsible for project management where EIA is the client. EiA has an interior group that assists in the projects. For major building projects, the Norwegian government agency Statsbygg will perform the role of the client.

The Occupational health service provides advice and guidance on building work to clients, employers, safety delegates, panels and committees.

    Pets at the workplace

    Employees should not bring pets to the workplace. The Occupational health service advise employees to not bring pets to their workplace. Pet hair and dust can lead to worsening of allergy.

    If an employee must bring their dog/other pets to the workplace, this must be approved by the line manager in advance. The manager must then make sure that this is not a nuisance for other employees. Each unit can lay down prohibition of having pets at the workplace.

    Service dogs:

    Guide dogs and service dogs are of course permitted.

    Therapy dogs:

    The use of therapy dogs requires certification, that the dog is equipped with a harness or other service badge, and that it has been clarified with the administrative manager of the unit in question.

    Have you dicovered Long-tailed silverfish at work?

    Long-tailed silverfish do not pose a health hazard and the material damage is minimal. They are nevertheless considered pests because many people find them annoying. If they develop freely, they can destroy objects of high value. It is therefore problematic with Long-tailed silverfish in libraries, museums and historical collections where irreplaceable objects can be degraded and destroyed.

    Limiting measures

    What can you do?

    • Make sure the rooms are tidy enough for the cleaning staff to have good room access.
    • Place handbags, backpacks and bags off the floor, and in places with good light access.
    • Unpack new things outside.
    • Remove packaging immediately.
    • If you observe a Long-tailed silverfish, contact Demand notice building operations (Lydia).

    What should a leader do?

    • Preventative - pay attention to topics during HSE rounds.
    • If the leader is informed that Long-tailed silverfish are in several rooms then the leader must contact Demand notice building operations (Lydia) for a total enrollment of the problem.

    What does the UiB /Estate and Facilities Management division do when a demand notice has been reported?

    • The division puts out glue traps to map the problem.
    • If there is a Long-tailed silverfish in the premises, the pest control company puts out poisonous bait. Then the pest control company checks with glue traps to make sure the stock is kept down.


    Norwegian institute of public health: https://www.fhi.no/en/op/skadedyrveilederen/other-insects/long-tailed-silverfish/ 

    New effective control method found to control long-tailed silverfish https://www.fhi.no/en/news/2019/New-effective-control-method-long-tailed-silverfish/