Rather than be exposed to heat for extended periods of time during the course of a job, workers should, wherever possible, be permitted to distribute the workload evenly over the day and incorporate work-rest cycles. Work-rest cycles give the body an opportunity to get rid of excess heat, slow down the production of internal body heat, and provide greater blood flow to the skin.
Workers employed outdoors are especially subject to weather changes. A hot spell or a rise in humidity can create overly stressful conditions. The following practices can help to reduce heat stress:
Thermal Conditions in the Workplace:
A variety of engineering controls can be introduced to minimize exposure to heat. For instance, improving the insulation on a furnace wall can reduce its surface temperature and the temperature of the area around it. In a laundry room, exhaust hoods installed over those sources releasing moisture will lower the humidity in the work area. In general the simplest and least expensive methods of reducing heat and humidity can be accomplished by:
Providing cool rest areas in hot work environments considerably reduces the stress of working in those environments. There is no conclusive information available on the ideal temperature for a rest area. However, a rest area with a temperature near 76/F appears to be adequate and may even feel chilly to a hot, sweating worker, until acclimated to the cooler environment. The rest area should be as close to the workplace as possible. Individual work periods should not be lengthened in favor of prolonged rest periods. Shorter but frequent work-rest cycles are the greatest benefit to the worker. Rest areas are in the Management Reception area in the front of the building or any other cool area.