Heatstroke can be dangerous, even deadly, for your workers. When it pops up, it can slow, even stop production at your facility. But the consequences can extend far beyond a slowdown or shutdown. You might lose valuable workers and have expensive workers’ compensation benefits and/or premiums to pay. In cases where your facility isn’t adequately prepared to avoid it, heatstroke can potentially lead to negligence claims and lawsuits.
To avoid heatstroke – and allegations of negligence – your facility should implement a heatstroke prevention plan at your industrial facility. Here’s how to do that, along with some helpful tips to make it a success, including the use of an industrial evaporative cooler.
First, you need to design your plan. It should be based on scientific principles to maintain efficiency at your facility while protecting workers. Make sure that you have your plan contained in one document somewhere you can access it for reference.
Your next step is to make sure management is on board with your heatstroke prevention plan. Depending on your organization, this might mean just the immediate managers of the facility, or it might go up to the entire C-suite.
Tip: Come prepared to talk costs to management. Use our calculator to see how much your organization might be losing due to heat. Also, come prepared with one or more evocative stories that can help them commit emotionally to your plan.
Once the management team is on board for your heatstroke prevention plan, it’s time to communicate the plan to workers and supervisors. While it’s important that everyone has a role in heatstroke prevention, it can improve the effectiveness if you appoint people to specific positions in the plan (such as calling for water breaks or monitoring coworkers for signs of heatstroke).
Tip: It’s more effective to have several short meetings on the subject, rather than one long one where people will tune out the message. Don’t forget to post the information in one or more visible areas so workers can refresh themselves on details.
Nothing undermines new initiatives faster than failing to provide adequate resources for success. If workers feel you are setting them up for failure, they will not follow through on their part of the plan. For example, if you require water breaks, make sure workers have access to cool water at the facility.
Tip: If your facility is too hot for adequate cooling, you can create a cooldown area with an industrial air cooler even when employees take a break. While air conditioning is the traditional air cooler for offices and white-collar workers, a portable industrial evaporative cooler might work best for your facility. No installation is required, and it can be moved to different parts of the facility as necessary. It can also create a cool zone when it’s impossible or impractical to cool your entire facility.
Don’t expect your plan to be perfect from the beginning. Build in a method for evaluating your plan’s success. Revise the plan as necessary to achieve all your goals.
Tip: Communicate the monitoring plan from the beginning. Encourage people to make suggestions for improving the strategy. However, make it clear how you will evaluate and/or incorporate suggestions.
Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and more forms of heat illness can be dangerous and expensive for your industrial facility. Portacool can help you avoid the problem with our industrial evaporative coolers. You can either use them to create a cooldown area or even target specific workstations, depending on what’s best for your facility. Portacool evaporative coolers are made here in the USA at our Center, Texas facility. We also use Portacool coolers at our factory, so we know they work, even in hot, humid conditions.
The Portacool 510 is the newest addition to our product line. As the smallest and lightest Portacool evaporative cooler, it provides the ease and versatility you need to maintain a comfortable environment in small spaces.
Enjoy the cooling benefits of the 510 in a wide range of applications. It’s excellent for home workshops and backyard patios. Keep your small business workspace, retail shop, or gym cool on hot days. You can also bring the 510 along on RV trips and when you’re tailgating before a sports event on a hot day.
The Portacool Cyclone™ series provides powerful cooling in spaces where air conditioning simply isn’t a viable solution. These compact, lightweight evaporative coolers come on wheels, making them easy to move around your space to achieve cooling benefits in the precise area you need them.
With four distinct coolers in the Cyclone line, you’re guaranteed to find an option that meets your specific needs. The Cyclone is perfect for outdoor patios, home workshops, small businesses, retail shops, events venues, and gyms.
Larger work environments need a powerful cooling solution to maintain workers’ health, safety, and productivity when the temperatures get hot. The Portacool Jetstream™ series provides the cooling you need to avoid a work stoppage due to excessive heat.
The Jetstream is the evaporative cooler of choice in factories and industrial settings. It’s also an ideal solution for your auto garage, aviation hangar, farm, prison, or large events venue. With six models in the Jetstream line, you can customize your cooling to ensure optimal results for your unique space.
Effective cooling is vital in any work environment, but it’s especially crucial when combustible gases are present. These situations create unique challenges when trying to keep the environment cool. Fortunately, Portacool’s Hazardous Location series is specifically designed to meet the needs of petrochemical refineries, oil and gas exploration outfits, chemical production plants, fuel depots, and any other location where combustibles are a concern.
Our Hazardous Location evaporative coolers are ETL Certified for use in Class I, Division 2, Groups C&D hazardous locations. All electrical components are sealed to provide an additional layer of safety.
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