June is National Safety Month and as both the temperature and the economy heat up for summer, we’re taking the time to discuss keeping both you and your employees safe from heat related illness.
While air temperatures above 103° is considered high risk by OSHA, moderate risk starts at just 91°. Along with creating potential heat related illness for people working at these temperatures, error rates jump, operations slow down and chances of other injuries jump. As a result, it’s easy to see that maintaining a comfortable temperature not only keeps your staff happy and healthy, it keeps your bottom line humming along as well.
Because it is National Safety Month, I want to discuss heat related illnesses, first aid and prevention before I talk about tools you can use to keep your facility at the optimal temperature.
Heat related illnesses include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is an immediate 911 call. I could write more about each of them but OSHA has a great webpage describing them and the necessary first aid for each that you can read at your leisure available here.
Once you’re done there, be sure to review the heat stress prevention page as well. There’s valuable information on reducing exposure to heat, best work practices and more.
Finally, be sure to take advantage of OSHA’s free educational resources, including fact sheets, posters, and training material.
Increase Comfort and Save Money
There are improvements that you can make to your facility that can help regulate temperature and also save you money on heating and cooling. Two of our favorites include HVLS ceiling fans and vinyl strip doors.
High Volume Low Speed Fans are air movement systems, not just cooling systems. They move and mix lots of air, and they do it very efficiently. As a result of the masses of air they move they are very effective in aiding cooling, heating (through heat de-stratification) and ventilation. This means that not only do they make up to an 8° difference in the facility temperature , they also save you money on HVAC while they’re doing it.
Portable blowers are also useful for cooling off individual areas quickly and easily.
Vinyl Strip Doors are ideal for open docks, shipping areas, warehouse-office doors, cooler storage, and other places where climate control and access are needed. Along with maintaining heating or cooling, they help control dust and debris and can keep critters outside where they belong. Finally, these strips help contain and reduce noise levels. Since a person can walk through them (or a forklift can drive through them) they don’t impede access.
Among the many safety events that are happening in June, you should be aware of one in particular. June 9th is National Forklift Safety Day. You can learn more about this event here.
As always, if you have any questions or would like additional information about what I’ve discussed today, just get in touch.