The Dangers of Heat Stress And How To Keep Your Workers Cooler With A Mist Cooling System

The Dangers of Heat Stress And How To Keep Your Workers Cooler With A Mist Cooling System

Misting fans combine water and airflow, which is one of the most effective methods for both preventing and reversing heat illness in outdoor working environments such as construction sites, agriculture operations, mining, and industrial dock areas. Such misting fans can create a mist so fine that the droplets are measured in microns, which is smaller than a red blood cell. The minuscule droplets evaporate instantly, producing an immediate reduction in air temperature of up to 25° F.
Big Fans with misters can lower the actual temperature outdoors. The combination of fans and water is a great way to delay the onset of heat illness.

The larger the fan, the greater the area it can cover with the minimum amount of energy use.

Summer is here, which means businesses of all kinds will be turning to fans to keep workers cool and happy, because happy workers are productive workers. In fact, according to the Center for the Built Environment, temperature, air quality, and noise are the three most important factors when considering productivity.

However, lost productivity is not the only problem caused by heat—as the temperature increases, so does the likelihood of heat-related illness. Hot weather is responsible for more hospital visits and fatalities than any other weather-related source, and recent statistics suggest it carries heavy human and financial costs for U.S. employers. In 2013, for example, there were 16,320 reports of heat illness so serious it resulted in days away from work, according to the U.S. Office of Compliance, the organization responsible for safety compliance within the legislative branch of the U.S. government. The same year, 38 heat-related occupational fatalities were reported.

Additionally, a 2014 CDC report indicates that 20 cases of heat illness were cited for federal enforcement in 2012-2013—13 of these cases involved a worker death and seven were non-fatal but involved two or more employees. And from 2001 to 2010, more than 28,000 hospitalizations related to heat illness occurred in 20 states participating in a CDC tracking program.

While federal agencies don’t set a maximum safe temperature for workers, employers are responsible for protecting workers from extreme heat. OSHA requires employers to provide safe working environments for their workers, and failure to do so can result in fines and other enforcement action. Most of the enforcement actions against U.S. employers related to heat illnesses are levied under Section 5 of the OSH Act, known as the General Duty Clause, which states that each employer “shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards.” Heat illness is one such recognized hazard, and in the vast majority of cases it is preventable with education and minor precautions on the part of employers.

There are a number of factors that employers need to be aware of and which will allow them to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of heat illnesses. For example, operations involving high air temperatures, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities create a greater potential for inducing heat stress. Other factors are unique to each employee and can affect a person’s sensitivity to heat, such as an employee’s age, weight, degree of physical fitness, degree of acclimatization, metabolism, use of alcohol or drugs, and a variety of medical conditions.

The human body functions best at a body temperature of about 98° F, and so our bodies radiate excess heat to maintain our optimum body temperature. Heat dissipation is sped up by perspiration, which is why we sweat more when the air gets hotter or our metabolic rate increases.

When the outdoor temperature rises, when workers exert themselves, or when the air becomes humid and saturated with moisture, it becomes more difficult for our bodies to dissipate excess heat. When our bodies can’t maintain our optimal body temperature, heat illness occurs.

Heat illness causes a variety of problems ranging from rashes to lethargy to death. Heat-related illness takes three primary forms: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The following symptoms should be addressed immediately, before they become more significant and potentially fatal.

Heat cramps are usually caused by performing hard physical labor in a hot environment. These cramps have been attributed to an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating, which depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels.

So how can this be prevented? A mist cooling system!  For example, misting fans combine water and airflow, which is one of the most effective methods for both preventing and reversing heat illness in outdoor working environments such as construction sites, agriculture operations, mining, and industrial dock areas. Such misting fans can create a mist so fine that the droplets are measured in microns, which is smaller than a red blood cell. The minuscule droplets evaporate instantly, producing an immediate reduction in air temperature of up to 25° F.

The larger the fan, the greater the area it can cover with the minimum amount of energy use.

Source: OH&S

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