10-06-2016

In our first blog of the summer, we’re going to be looking at the effects of heat stress, as well as how workplace cooling and air conditioning can keep you safe and feeling fresh over the coming warm weeks.

The sunshine is finally here, it’s time to dust off the BBQ and get out sun tan lotion and sandals! Whilst there’s nobody who appreciates the summer months as eagerly as us Brits, we also have to be aware of the impact the heat can have on our working environment. This is especially true if you work in construction.
 

Heat Stress – Why it’s important

So what is heat stress? Heat stress is effectively when the temperature of your working places rises to such a point that your body’s capability of controlling its internal temperature begins to fail. Heat stress is not only hazardous to your health, but in industries where diligence and concentration is required at all times to avoid injury, the effects could prove fatal.

The Health and Safety Executive provides an excellent example of a typical heat stress situation:

A worker wearing PPE clothing and performing exhaustive manual work in hot or humid conditions may be exposed to heat stress when -

  • Your body’s natural cooling method via sweat evaporation is restricted due to clothing and humidity
  • The body will generate more heat  due to work, and if heat loss is insufficient, your core temperature will rise
  • Your body’s reaction to a rise in core temperature will be to sweat more, potentially causing dehydration
  • Heart rate increases as deep body temperature continues to increase
  • If this continues with little to no heat loss, the body’s temperature regulation mechanisms may begin to fail

The effects of heat stress can cause a number of symptoms in any individual, and can impact people in different ways. Here are just some of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Loss of concentration
  • Heat rash
  • Muscle cramp
  • Extreme thirst
  • Heat exhaustion - fatigue, nausea, giddiness, headache
  • Heat stroke- confusion, convulsions, unconsciousness – this can result in death if undetected early
     

By no means is this only limited to manual or outdoor work. Previously, the Office for National Statistics has reported that up to 92% of office workers waste up to an hour of time a day due to overheated offices, which costs British employers a combined £19.3 million a year in lost productivity over summer.

With the combined risks associated with overheating along with declines in productivity, it makes sense over the summer months to ensure your workplace is kept cool and ventilated, whether you’re working manually or in an office environment.


Cooling and Air Conditioning

An ideal solution to any potential overheating in the workplace is with cooling and air conditioning equipment. With our range of deals, you’ll be able to find a cool solution for your summer.

There are a wide array of reasons to use cooling and air conditioning equipment over the hot summer months aside from the prevention of heat stress:

  • Reclaim productivity with a clear-headed and fresh workforce
  • Keep visitors or clients visiting your place of work comfortable
  • Able to more accurately regulate the temperature in your environment than alternatives such as basic fans or opening windows

We want you to have the best summer possible, so check out our wide array of cooling and air conditioning equipment on offer to keep cool whilst keeping cash in your pocket.

Not sure what would be the best solution for your workplace? Call us on 0800 009 6203 or just click here to fill an enquiry form.

For more information on managing your workplace temperature, click here for information from the Health and Safety Executive. They also supply a Heat Stress Checklist, which you can download here.

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