PROBLEMS WITH HEAT STRESS?
Cooling clothing for better performance at work
„Fatigue can affect workers’ ability to perform work safely and effectively” is the original citation from safe work australia on their homepage.
Health and safety at the workplace in hot ambient temperatures is difficult to achieve. Often clothing is soaked by sweat and the staff is exhausted, has problems to concentrate which results in mistakes and accidents and working performance is at its lowest. Some workers even have severe health problems.
Especially workplace safety decreases drastically the higher the temperatures. Personal protection equipment (PPE) provides heat protection from external factors such as radiation heat, but often even worsens the heat stress for the person inside the suits.
Not only people are affected but also companies lose performance. Different studies worldwide have determined that productivity decreases by 12% on hot days.
With the help of an online survey carried out with 88 companies in Germany, a bachelor’s thesis analysed heat at the workplace and its effects on workers and companies.
Too many employees
affected by heat
- 0-10% of our employees are affected 49% 49%
- 10-20% of our employees are affected 23% 23%
- Over 30% of our employees are affected 16% 16%
- 20-30% of our employees are affected 11% 11%
More and more companies report that heat is a problem for a significant part of their employees. 34 % of the companies say, that 10-30 % of their employees are affected by heat and even 16% of the companies talk about over 30% of their workforce being confronted with heat issues. Especially elderly employees suffer from the effects of high temperatures, an issue that needs to be adressed as the average age of the workforce in companies is increasing. It is evident that the impact of heat on the attractiveness of companies can be significant.
About 25% of the companiesactually do have temperatures above 37 °C at the workplace throughout the year. 53% of the companies operate workplaces at such temperatures (at least) in the summer time.
Illness rate is higher in heat
- Yes, accident- and illness rate is higher in heat 75% 75%
- Only 4% of companies think that there is no impact 25% 25%
Too many companies report that the stress level of their staff increases in heat.
75% of the companies interviewed believed, that the sick rate was elevated when temperatures rise. Apart from health problems of workers, exposure to heat evidently led to higher downtimes. This resulted in less overall productivity.
Lower performance at high temperatures?
- Yes, concentration and performance of employees is lower in heat 96% 96%
- Only 4% of companies think that there is no impact 4% 4%
96% of the interviewees said that concentration and performance decreased at hot temperatures, which had a direct effect on overall performance.
Another aspect regarding heat is aggressiveness. This assumption is confirmed in studies by Solomon Hsiang of Berkeley University. In 2009, Wuppertal University found out that aggressiveness increases in heat. It is supposed that such a reaction reflects poor working atmosphere and shop morale.
The question whether the working atmosphere deteriorates in heat or whether conflicts or aggressivity increases in heat was analysed. Although this aspect is relatively new in the assessment of performance, more than 50% (56%) of the companies being interviewed confirmed having made this observation.
heat protection to wear
ADVANTAGE THROUGH COOLING
Workplace analyses confirm cooling efficiency
Workplaces with temperatures exceeding 26°C or even 37°C are found in many facilities, mainly in steel mills or chemical factories but also at construction sites and in mines.
E.COOLINE has already been successfully tested in most of these working areas: in the automotive industry, foundries, steel mills, glass factories or at construction sites. In most situations, E.COOLINE helped to keep the body temperatures of the employees at normal physiological level.
The evidence is unambiguous
analysis automotive sector
Analysis glass manufactur
SAFE WITH E.COOLINE
Workplace analyses confirm cooling efficiency
The “THERMOMAN*” study conducted by the Swiss Research Institute Empa – Materials Science and Technology in St. Gallen (Switzerland/Europe) confirmed the efficiency of E.COOLINE. The parts of the body protected by the high-tech material showed a lower temperature rise than those not protected by the new high-tech fleece. The important detail for fire fighters: There were no steam burns found despite the water being inside because the water retained by the fibers of the COOLINE SX3 technology (Cf. Empa study report n° 204’959; THERMOMAN is a trademark of Dupont)
A thermo kinetics laboratory study of the high tech material carried out in vitro determined a temperature reduction by 6°C from 24°C to 18°C. With outside temperatures of 30°C, the temperature on the high-tech material was determined at cool 16°C for more than 20 hours.
The quantity of water evaporated in the 3D structure of the E.COOLINE material is, per time unit, higher at elevated temperatures and thus produces a greater cooling effect through higher energy consumption. Cooling at lower temperatures is also lower because less water is evaporated per time unit. E.COOLINE reacts similarly to an automatic air conditioning system. At high temperatures more cooling energy is released.