While we all look forward to the warmer temperatures that the summer can bring, one thing we would prefer to avoid is the increase in heat in the workplace. Dealing with this increase in temperature whilst trying to work can be tricky. For workplaces with a lot of physical activity involved or machinery producing heat that can make it worse, this can constitute an actual hazard.
The Health and Safety Executive state that an indoor workroom environment’s ideal temperature should be between 16°C and 13°C. Whilst these temperatures are not too difficult to maintain for much of the year, in the summer, this can be much harder.
The Food Industry
Some of the environments in the food manufacturing industry, especially the catering sector, can be even more tricky to work in during a heatwave. The heat, combined with the physical nature of the work, can cause exhaustion, dehydration and heat stress for employees. However, employers can take measures that will help with these temperatures.
The first measure is, of course, ensuring that the airflow to workspaces is increased. However, when talking about fresh air, it is essential to remember that outside contaminants can cause a problem. Fortunately, PVC strip curtains like those purchased from companies like Strip Curtains Direct are a great way of achieving this. When fitted correctly, a good quality PVC strip curtain allows natural airflow into the workplace whilst ensuring that insects, all flying pests and dust are prevented from entering the workplace. This means that they are a perfect choice for any company involved in the food industry as the appropriate health and safety regulations are still followed.
Fresh air alone isn’t always enough.
The problem with a heatwave is that the increase in temperatures can be significant, particularly here in the UK, with the temperature fluctuating dramatically from one day to the next. When this happens, the opening of a window and the natural airflow, if there is any, can help. Sweltering days can often be very still with no breeze, but it isn’t always enough to create a good working environment.
When this happens, one of the best ways an employer can return their workplace to a practical temperature is to install a cooling system. This might be an air conditioning unit or a series of strategically placed fans. When these measures are combined with a PVC strip system, this can help maximise the effectiveness of your cooling methods. PVC strip curtains that are properly installed can help create and maintain an appropriately relaxed environment. This is the type of environment that employees can work in during the hotter temperatures of summer. It’s simply a question of keeping the hot air out and ensuring that the cool air remains trapped inside the work area.
Whilst it is essential to ensure that you create a comfortable temperature-controlled workplace during a heatwave, it may be necessary to put other measures in place as well. This may mean ensuring that weather-appropriate work-wear is provided and that appropriate insulation is installed around your workplace areas that produce heat. Don’t forget to consider other measures that can help keep your workforce cool, such as ensuring that there are suitable hydration facilities and that employees take proper breaks to help avoid exhaustion.