Heat & Cold Stress Microclimate WBGT, PPD, PMV
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. In opposite extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people, such as those without shelter, outdoor workers, and those who work in an area that is poorly insulated or without heat.
Heat stress occurs when the body’s means of controlling its internal temperature starts to fail. As well as air temperature, factors such as work rate, humidity and clothing worn while working may lead to heat stress. Therefore it may not be obvious to someone passing through the workplace that there is a risk of heat stress.
Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam.
Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat. Prevention of heat stress in workers is mandatory. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.
It is suggested to monitor the health of workers at risk and the enviroment situation. Where it is considered that a residual risk remains after implementing as many control measures as practicable, you may need to monitor the health of workers exposed to the risk. You should then seek advice from occupational health professionals with a good working knowledge of the risks associated with working in heat stress situations.
The EasyMeasures devices, helps the professionals in the environmental monitoring. Heat stress results from a combination of many environmental factors as air temperature and humidity along with radiant heat from the sun and surfaces, balanced by the cooling effect of breezes or air flow. The national body are frequently campaigning to prevent heat illness in workers and reports that every year thousands of workers become sick working in the heat, and some even die. Accurate measurements of heat stress conditions is a key component of a heat illness prevention plan. To prevent injury it is a good idea to have heat stress monitors in place. Heat stress monitors by using EasyMeasures devices, determine the level of heat stress as a result of a combination external heat exposure from the environment. When the heat stress index becomes too high, the monitor will register the heat level as dangerous.
Very light and portable device are availables for easy use capable to measure WBGT,
PMV, PPD (EM-HD32.2, EM-HD32.3) as a complete meters (EM-HD32.1) are available to a complete study of heat stress, local disconfort, cold environment, microclimate and phisycal quantity.
the regulation to follow are resumed here in below:
ISO7726 Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Instruments for measuring physical quantities
ISO8896 Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Determination of metabolic rate
ISO7933 Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Analytical determination and interpretation of heat stress using calculation of the predicted heat strain
ISO7243 Estimation of the heat stress on working man, based on the WBGT-index (wet bulb globe temperature)
ISO7730 Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort using calculation of the PMV and PPD indices and local thermal comfort criteria
ISO11079 Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Determination and interpretation of cold stress when using required clothing insulation (IREQ) and local cooling effects
ISO9920 Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Estimation of thermal insulation and water vapour resistance of a clothing ensemble
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2010 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy
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