KNOW THE RISK
Heat-related illnesses and fatalities are 100% preventable when you know the risks, symptoms, and solutions. Heat stress occurs when the body’s means of controlling its internal temperature starts to fail. Once the body’s temperature reaches 99.7° F, heat stress has begun to affect the body. At 104° F (40° C), it becomes susceptible to severe damage. In as little as 30 minutes, temps of 104°+ can cause cellular damage to the brain or even death.
On average, excessive heat causes 650 deaths in the United States every year. 37 of those took place on the job in 2017 – double the amount that occurred in 2014. Construction workers take the brunt of the burn, which makes sense when you think about their exposure to unpredictable outdoor temperatures. Services providing industry, such as trade, transportation, warehousing, and utilities, account for a large percentage of the remaining occupational fatalities.
PREVENTION & SOLUTIONS
Best for drier, low-to-moderately humid conditions with sufficient airflow.
Evaporative cooling is a simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive approach that works with the same principles as sweat cooling the body by drawing heat from workers’ bodies using an external water source.
Ergodyne’s non-toxic, super-absorbent acrylic polymers expand in water and absorb just enough water to create a refreshing cooling sensation for up to four hours. Evaporative cooling technology can be found in Ergodyne’s Cooling Bandanas, Hard Hat Pads with Neck Shades, Hard Hat Liners, and Cooling Vests.
Poly Vinyl Acetal (PVA), a hyper-evaporative material, retains water while remaining dry to the touch for excellent cooling relief. Ergodyne incorporated this material into their Cooling Towels, Tie Cooling Bandanas, Hard Hat Pads with Neck Shades, Cooling Vests, and more.
Microfiber technology activates instantly when wet, whether from water or perspiration, and wicks moisture away from the body. Ergodyne’s chemical-free, non-toxic material provides sustained cooling for hours when wet. It is used in their Cooling Towels, Skull Caps, Multi-Bands, Cooling Arm Sleeves, and more.
With Ergodyne’s Dry Evaporative Technology Cooling Vests, 20 ounces of water provides up to three days of cooling. Just pour in water and evenly distribute for 100% dry, lightweight cooling relief.
Best where airflow is limited, making it a prime choice for high-heat indoor settings like foundries, glass manufacturing, and paper & pulp.
Ergodyne’s Phase Changing Vests contain liquids that solidify typically between 55° F and 64° F. Unlike conventional ice or gel freezer packs, phase change packs aren’t frosty to the touch, so they’ll remain comfortable against the body. As the phase change cooling pack absorbs heat, it begins to change from a solid to a liquid. The cooling effect can last anywhere from one and a half to four hours, depending on the solution.
A sweaty palm or stinging droplet in the eye isn’t just uncomfortable; it’s a jobsite hazard.
Ergodyne’s Absorpative Cooling Hi Cool® Moisture Management Fabric, found in some of their headbands, dew rags, skull caps, and multibands, pulls sweat away from the body for fast evaporation to keep you cool and safe.
Heat-related illnesses such as heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are closely associated with a worker’s hydration level.
OSHA standards for both general industry and construction activities, as well as various safety guidelines, mandate that adequate drinking water is available to workers at all workplaces and jobsites. Ergodyne makes staying in compliance even easier with their backpack-like Hydration Packs. These are especially beneficial when it’s difficult or time-consuming for a worker to travel back to a hydration station.
Using shade devices can shield workers from harmful UV rays and help them stay stronger for longer.
Solutions like tents or umbrellas can help to protect workers from overheating. Additionally, incorporating a misting system can cool things down by up to 30° F below ambient air.
Regular application of SPF 50 sunscreen can block 98% of sunburn causing UV rays. Ergodyne offers a variety of KREW’D™ sunscreen sticks, sprays, and lotions.
You can’t change the weather. But you can change your approach to working in the heat. With expert training, support, and endless innovation, ABATIX is here to help you lead the way in making your workplace safe.