Range Of Applications From The Buildings To The Cooling Of Factories

In many areas, workplace high temperature problems are more common than before. Average ambient temperatures in the warm seasons are generally higher than have been experienced in the past. Although the differences are only a few degrees, these small differences can change the work environment drastically. Because of heightened attention to employee safety, workers wear more protective gear — helmets, masks or other apparatuses — than they once did. As a result, high workplace temperatures make the same task more difficult and sometimes more exhausting.
Further, many companies have gone to longer shifts, meaning worker fatigue is a greater concern. Finally, many manufacturing plants and warehouse operations have set higher production or product handling goals in order to remain competitive, meaning employees work at a faster physical pace that must be maintained even during the hottest times of year.
Admittedly, there are some jobs where heat exposure is unavoidable — for example, working at a smelting furnace, handling molten metals or other hot products such as cooked foods, paper or glass. Yet even in these cases, it is important for workers to have minimal adverse exposure to heat and to have cooler zones nearby to rotate into.
Excessive heat contributes to worker fatigue, heat cramps, and more serious problems, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Even where health problems do not appear, excessive workplace heat can lead to poor memory, loss of concentration, short attention span, carelessness and difficulty following instructions. Certain basic steps can help reduce the incidence of problems, including training on the importance of fluid replacement and having adequate work breaks to cooler areas.