After a long, cold winter and a wet spring, it’s nice to be able to go outside and enjoy the warm sunshine.
Unfortunately, the summer can bring extreme heat to workplaces and facilities that are not temperature controlled. If staff members are not protected from extreme heat, it can cause significant illness and even death.
As someone in a position of authority, it is your responsibility to ensure your employees can beat the heat. The following three tips can go a long way to making sure your staff stays cool and productive this summer.
How Can I Keep My Workers Safe This Summer?
1. Control the Temperature as Much as Possible
Keeping a large facility cool during the summer is much more difficult than keeping an office cool.
Adequate insulation is essential. It can keep cold air in during the summer and keep cold air out during winter. In addition to insulating the walls, you should also consider your roof. A reflective or light-colored roof can significantly reduce heating caused by solar radiation.
Look into all the machines running in your facility. Some equipment can raise the surrounding temperature, so it’s a good idea to only run machines when necessary.
Also, curtains and strip doors can separate hot areas from cooler, temperature-controlled areas. These airflow barriers still permit easy access to areas and don’t restrict productivity.
2. Maintain Airflow
If air conditioning isn’t a possibility in some areas, massive ceiling fans can deliver a strong, cooling breeze. If the work area in question has tall ceilings, high volume, low speed (HVLS) fans create a strong column of cooling air that can keep workers comfortable. These fans boost ventilation significantly and one single 24-inch fan can cover as much as 20,000 square feet of floor space.
Another option is to use portable industrial fans. Large low-vibration fans can a work area cool without a great deal of noise. They can also be readily moved to areas that require the most attention, such as areas with heat-generating equipment.
3. Consider Factors Outside Your Facility
There are many things your company can do to keep workers cool inside its facilities based on factors that happen to be outside these same facilities.
For instance, facilities or work areas exposed to direct sunlight can get significantly hotter than shaded areas, and plating trees is a good way to shade outside work areas and your facility. Trees ought to be planted purposefully so that they shade the parts of your work areas that are most vulnerable to solar radiation.
It is also crucial to consider cold weather factor when thinking about which trees to plant. A tress that drops its leaves in the fall can allow for more solar radiation in winter, which can help to keep your warehouse warm.
4. Follow CDC Guidelines for PPE
With COVID-19 still a health hazard, it’s essential that businesses provide a clear and comprehensive plan to keep their employees protected. If you don’t have a documented plan, it’s time!