Cool the Worker… Not the Workspace.
INDUSTRIAL environments require tempered ventilation air to reduce exposure to excess heat and contaminants that are generated in the Workplace. Cooling and heating systems are provided to temper the ventilation air. Ventilation air is primarily used to control excess heat, odours, and hazardous particulate and chemical contaminants. These could affect workers’ health and safety or, in some cases, become combustible or flammable when allowed to accumulate above their minimum explosible concentration (MEC) or lower flammable limit (LFL) also called the lower explosive limit (LEL).
High Temperatures in industrial areas can lead to:
High Employee Absence
Heat Breaks Issues
Which finally results in:
Most Importantly Poor Worker’s Health & Safety
A work environment that allows a worker to perform assigned duties without fatigue caused by temperatures that are too high or too low and without exposure to harmful airborne contaminants results in better, continued performance. It may also improve worker morale and reduce absenteeism.
Occupational (Industrial) hygienists recommend using the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGTs) & Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) which translated to Humidex level which tells us how hot we feel. Under certain workplace conditions, the humidex may serve as an indicator of discomfort resulting from occupational exposures to heat.
The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. (OHCOW) suggest that humidex above 38 leads to 15 minutes heat breaks.