In my office they are 19 people including me. My IT manager normally comes to office late and leaves at night. Today I spot one thing that might be a problem, the photo copier. I like to sit at his desk to wait my printed paper from the photo copier. My throat was sore after inhaling the emissions from the photo copier. The IT manager says that he has the same issue. I think he intentionally comes to office late and start working quite late until night to avoid the photo copier.

I know it is none of my business, but sometime his coming late at work is problematic.

How can I address that photo copier might harm his health condition to company?

  • 8
    Photocopiers create ozone through their "corona wires" that apply a charge to the paper so the ink will cling to it. As ozone is highly reactive, any adverse health effects will be found essentially at the sites of initial contact – the respiratory tract (nose, throat and airways), the lungs and at higher concentrations, the eyes. Office Photocopiers: Health Hazards
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 4:32
  • 8
    If the room has little ventilation, and/or the windows are always closed then the photocopier poses a health hazard to everyone in the office, not only to your IT manager. So, you need to mention IN your question how old the copier machine is, whether there is a window near it or not, and how long your manager has been coming in late.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 4:41
  • 9
    Having the country would help here too.
    – jcmack
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 5:16
  • 5
    Have you talked to the IT manager casually about the your sore throat after sitting next to the copier?
    – jcmack
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 5:16
  • 6
    Have you asked why your manager has adjusted his working hours? The reason might have nothing at all to do with the photocopier.
    – user44108
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


You don't need to bring your coworker into things at all to bring this up with the appropriate people in your company.

It's very considerate of you to be concerned about your coworker's health, but you don't need to mention him or any assumptions about his schedule or other behaviors. I would even suggest that you not mention the coworker's schedule (it might possibly cause problems for him, and gains nothing for you).

Instead, you can explain your personal experience. You were sitting at the photocopier, and you felt unwell due to that. That's the experience you can bring to someone's attention, and you can still express your concern for your coworker's health:

I wanted to mention that the other day I was sitting by the copier waiting for my things to print. After only a minute of sitting there I smelled/felt in my throat something unpleasant, which I think was some kind of emission from the copier. My throat got really sore, and I'm worried that the copier might cause health problems for us. I was only there for a couple of minutes, I can't imagine how bad it must be for [IT manager]!

Could we look into having it checked by a technician, moving it to a better-ventilated (or at least less populated) area, or getting a newer, safer one?

  • This answer is good sense it points out, you don’t actually know, if the copier is making the individual sick. Their schedule might be approved and have absolutely nothing to do with the copier.
    – Donald
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 10:40

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