I work in one of the oldest buildings of my company. The building was built in the 50s, and needless to say, is not in the best shape. But it's a little worse than that. The floors are never swept or mopped. In my office you can literally see the growth of dust on the floors and lesser-passed areas. My office has never been mopped or swept since I started here a number of years ago. The ceiling tiles are black with mold from years of dripping water from boiler pipes and A/C condensation. The bathroom smells of mold after water pipes exploded. We have toilets that have not been fixed since they were deemed unusable 2 years ago. There are literally asbestos walls surrounding my office that just have stickers on them that say "CAUTION ASBESTOS: AVOID CREATING DUST." Our elevator has been broken for 2 years and since I work a number of floors up we have to hand-carry a lot of our VERY heavy equipment up and down stairs including heavy electronics and motors.

When I sent an e-mail to the process improvement office, they told me I need to make a business case to remediate the problems. The cleaning staff is unable or unwilling to do this work beyond emptying the trash and cleaning the bathrooms.

Has anyone had this kind of problem and can you suggest any way to proceed to get some of these issues fixed?

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    @JoeStrazzere I am not sure what ISO compliance is I from the little research I did it constituted cleanliness. Any more info?
    – JukEboX
    Feb 4, 2019 at 18:08
  • @JukEboX, I edited your question to take out the union and ISO stuff, because apparently some people thought that made it too company-specific. Have a look and see whether the edit still expresses your intent.
    – user1602
    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:02
  • @Kyralessa in the future, you can always drop by the watercooler and ask for someone to check your edit. Most of us over there have high enough rep. Feb 21, 2019 at 15:40
  • Thanks, @RichardU, I will try to remember that.
    – user1602
    Feb 21, 2019 at 18:49

3 Answers 3


If the conditions in your office are health-threatening, and not just old or annoying, I would recommend that you contact your local OSHA office.

They are the federal organization for ensuring worker safety, and they can help you understand what can be done about the situation, particularly if there is indeed asbestos in the building.

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    Asbestos in the building is not a safety issue if it is properly managed and not disturbed. If the fibers are not becoming airborne, then there is no requirement to remove it. There are a large number of offices and homes containing asbestos, basically anything prior to the 1980s. If the OP's concern is merely that it exists; OSHA will not take any action. The fact that the asbestos is labeled is evidence that tests and remediation has already been done.
    – user71659
    Feb 21, 2019 at 23:19

You are working in a workplace, which endangers your health for 2 years. I think you are beyond what ISO-Compliance can fix. You should either enforce moving out of the harmful office or seek a different job, with an employer who actually cares for the health of its subordinates.


You have two different problems you are dealing with here. First are the facilities problems that the cleaners are not responsible for. This includes the mold, broken toilets, asbestos, and broken elevators. It sounds like you've made a request and they asked for justification. Your response should be that these are health and safety problems and violate federal law. If they still don't do anything, then you should really report them to a government organization. As Kyralessa mentioned, that's primarily OSHA. For the broken elevators, the ADA may also be appropriate.

The dirty floors are really more of a personnel issue and should be addressed separately from the facilities problem. Submit a request to have the floors cleaned in your office, or wherever you think the problem locations are. This shouldn't be to the "process improvement office", it should be to whomever is in charge of facilities for your building and should be viewed as a routine maintenance request. If you don't hear anything, talk to management to ask management who to talk to to get the floors cleaned. If all of the cleaners work through a union, then the cleaning request will likely have to come from management.

If the floors are really as dirty as you say, then someone is not doing their job. This may be an individual problem rather than a union problem. We had a similar problem at my work, where one of our buildings always had dirty floors, so we put in a complaint. The manager of the cleaners came by and did a walkthrough with one of us and the individual cleaner responsible for that building and identified the problem areas. This likely showed up as a complaint on that person's record, and things did improve. If things don't improve, then you can request that someone new be assigned to that building.

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