Summer heat can be stifling, and is especially concerning for those who work in industrial buildings that are not climate controlled. Temperatures inside industrial buildings can reach dangerous levels during summer months, potentially putting employees at risk of heat-related illness or injury. Effective ventilation is vital during the summer months to maintain a safe work environment.
According to data from the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more than 2,600 workers were treated for heat-related illness during 2014. Even more concerning, heat stroke resulted in the death of 18 workers during that same year. These deaths and illnesses are preventable by providing workers with adequate water and relief from sun exposure and overheated environments.
OSHA requires all employers to provide a workplace that is safe from known hazards. Extreme heat is considered to be a known hazard and employers have an obligation to mitigate this hazard and to have a heat illness prevention program in place. The prevention program should provide workers with shade, rest and water, allow new or returning workers to acclimate to the heat gradually over a period of a few days, train workers about heat illness prevention and plan for emergencies, and watch workers for signs of heat-related illness.
Workers who are most at risk of heat-related illness are those who are not accustomed to working in the heat, who are responsible for heavy work, or who need to wear protective clothing. All workers can be at risk during hot and humid weather, though, particularly during periods of high heat.
Industrial buildings present some unique challenges during the summer. Workers may not be exposed to direct sunlight frequently while inside, but the lack of air flow and ventilation can cause temperatures to soar and put workers at risk of heat-related illness. The solution for these types of buildings is an effective ventilation system. Improving the ventilation in a building can dramatically lower the risk of heat-related illnesses, keeping your team cool, comfortable and safe all summer long.
R.G. Smith Company is well known for providing outstanding service to companies throughout the region. We have designed, built and installed custom sheet metal solutions for many businesses, including a range of custom-designed ventilation systems. Contact us today to learn how you can keep your workers safe and productive with an industrial building ventilation system.