Comfortable temperatures in the Work Place :
Printers Service. When working in a variety of industries where climate or varying degrees of temperature are a factor, the hazard can not be readily managed using just environmental controls alone. In these cases some of the most effective ways of managing these environments is by introducing some effective administrative controls.
Cold working environments for Staff
- Ensure the personal protective equipment issued is appropriate
- Facilities for re-warming and encourage the drinking of warm fluids such as soup or hot chocolate
- Introduce more frequent rest breaks
- For outdoors work, can the job be delayed and undertaken at warmer times of the year without compromising on safety
- Educate workers about recognising the early symptoms of body stress from cold weather
Hot working environments for Staff
- Provide frequent rest breaks and introduce shade to rest areas
- Provide free access to chilled drinking water
- Encourage the removal of personal protective equipment when resting to help encourage heat loss.
- Educate workers about recognising the early symptoms of heat stress on the body
- For outdoors work, plan to work to cooler times of the day
- Introduce more shade in areas where the individuals are working
Outdoor workers are also at risk from the sun -sunburn, premature ageing of the skin,and an increased risk of skin cancer from excessive exposure to the sun‟s rays. People who are fair-skinned, have red or fair hair, lots of freckles or moles, pale eyes, or skin that turns red or burns before tanning, are at greater risk, but all should avoid excessive exposure to the sun by covering bare skin.
In Australia hot workplaces are common. Heat usually comes from :
- hot climatic conditions
- heavy work in semi- hot conditions
- hot human working processes (such as welding or working with machinery)
- radiant heat from the areas surroundings
- work where heavy protective clothing is worn
Occupational health risk factors for heat illness include heavy physical activity, warm or hot environmental conditions, lack of a persons climatisation, and wearing clothing that holds body heat.
Hazardous heat exposure can occur indoors or outdoors, and can occur during any season if the conditions are right, not only during heat waves. The following is a list of some industries where workers have suffered heat-related illnesses.
Provide air conditioning to provide proper temperatures. If you have air conditioning switch it on, if you have blinds or curtains use them to block out sunlight and if you’re working outside wear appropriate clothing and use sun screen to protect from sunburn.
It is also important to drink plenty of water and employers must provide you with suitable drinking water in the workplace. It is important to drink water regularly throughout the day and not to wait until you are thirsty as this is an indication that you are already dehydrated.
How you maintain a comfortable temperature will depend on the working environment and the weather, and could include:
- air-conditioning and fans
- controlling air flow and the source of drafts
- open the windows
- building insulation
- the layout of workstations
- controlling the direct sunlight into the space