During the summer months, Texas temperatures can get up to a scorching 110 + degrees F. Within a fast-paced warehouse, the high heat and strenuous physical activity drastically increases the risk of heat related illness.
Heat Related Risk
When our bodies are exposed to high humidity, along with the heat and activity, our internal temperature rises which can cause heat rash or heat stroke. Once our internal body temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees F, we are in for trouble and immediate steps should be taken to cool off.
If the body cannot get rid of excess heat, it will store it and the core temp continues to rise. At this point, workers start to lose concentration and have difficulty focusing on a task. They may become irritable or sick, and often lose the desire to drink. The next stage is fainting and possible death if the worker isn’t sufficiently cooled.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists states that workers shouldn’t even be permitted to work at that point. But who walks around work with a thermometer testing out body temperature?
At a heat of 103 degrees F or higher, OSHA recommends additional precautions to be taken for workers. OSHA provides a great heat index chart for employers to follow when estimating precaution. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/pdfs/all_in_one.pdf
Being vigilant and proactive should be part of every warehouse safety strategy. One of the best ways to avoid the risk of heat illness is to prevent it altogether. Safe work practices, air conditioning and ventilation all can reduce heat exposure. Our job as a solutions and equipment provider is to keep safety a top priority while providing unique, cost effective solutions.
Cost-Effective Warehouse Cooling Solution
We just provided a huge cost-saving, cooling solution for a customer of ours with a fulfillment center in Dallas TX. Part of their mailing service operations take place in their unconditioned warehouse where 30 to 50 employees actively work. Employees were overheating in the HOT work conditions and they needed us to make it environmentally safe.
The way Doug Hutchins, solutions account manager, saw it they had two options. 1. Provide air conditioning to the entire warehouse which would have cost a ton of money – or – 2. Add an insulated environmental curtain wall in the center of the warehouse to keep out the heat and allow the A/C to run within the half where people work.
Doug recommended the Akon – R3 temperature rating – environmental grade, insulated curtain wall customized to the exact length and width they needed. A strip door was included for easy access for forklift drivers.
The Akon R3 temp rated curtain walls are constructed from up to five layers of material. The key component of this insulating curtain wall is the .25” thick bubble pack. This is wedged between additional layers of reflective foil and 18 oz vinyl with a polyester reinforcement.
- Rapid energy savings
- Easy to move and customize
- Prevents condensation
- Doubles as noise control
In order to prevent A/C from escaping out the sides, the curtains were attached to the walls with full height vertical Velcro, anchored to the floor, and mounted flush to the ceiling.
Our goal was to help our friends save money on their A/C costs and eliminate the risk of heat illness to their employees. The insulated curtain wall has created a safer work environment – the employees are much more comfortable, happier, and productivity is up. The curtain wall also maintains efficiency with space plus controls traffic in and out of the area.
Or call us at 800.442.3061 for tips, consultation, or any questions about safety within your warehouse.