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Ventilation of bathrooms

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Ventilation is the process of removing and replacing air in a building. Sometimes, additional ventilation can be provided through exhaust fans in bathrooms and toilets.


  • Vent odours to the air outside.
  • Use extractor fans in showers to remove steam.
  • Shower quickly.

Potential harm

  • Breathing issues
  • Unpleasant odour

Identified hazards and controls



  • Unpleasant odours spreading to nearby areas.

What workers can do

  • Use exhaust fans, where provided.
  • Report any maintenance issues to your building maintenance team, such as blocked drains, toilets not flushing, or mould build up.

What employers can do

  • Install extractor fan that vents odours to the outside air and prevents odours being drawn into the office air conditioning system.
  • If appropriate, install deodorisers or automatic air fresheners in bathrooms. Check with workers before introducing air fresheners to ensure that no-one has an allergy to certain scents or is susceptible to breathing issues, as these can bring new risks.
  • Follow up on maintenance reports.
  • Clean showers regularly to prevent mould build up.



  • Excessive condensation from steam generated from hot water.

What workers can do

  • Use any exhaust fans provided.
  • Try not to shower for too long when using hot water.
  • Report any issues.

What employers can do

  • Install an extractor fan or appropriate vents to disperse steam appropriately.
  • Use a thermostat to control hot water temperature.

More information



Page last reviewed: 30 April 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 02 Mar 2024