Protecting workers from the extremes of temperature

The thermal parameters of a working environment can vary greatly and the risks to human health can be significant and in extreme instances life threatening.

In hot environments such as foundries and glass making there can be a risk of personnel developing heat stress or heat strain unless strict control procedures are followed. Risks also exist if there is the need to wear personal protective equipment for prolonged periods whilst in hot environments such as chemical manufacturing or asbestos removal.

In cold environments, such as cold storage, or outdoor working during winter periods can cause significant health problems including frostbite and hypothermia.

Exova have qualified occupational hygienists who can assist in undertaking thermal assessments through the measurement of a range of parameters, including air temperature, mean radiant temperature, humidity, air movement, metabolic work rate and clothing.

The readings are taken and put into appropriate assessment tools (thermal indices) that look at the allowable working times in given conditions and the need to introduce controls to protect workers.

Exova occupational hygiene staff are members of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.