Why Heat Stress in the Workplace Isn’t Just a Load of Hot Air
When the temperature starts to rise during the summer months, it can result in uncomfortable and frustrated workers who long for the end of the working day so they can cool down. It is critical that some places of work, be they industrial or commercial premises, maintain an ambient temperature during the summer months. These days, clever ways to keep new buildings cool are often factored in during the design stage, but many existing buildings are simply not designed for very hot temperatures. A sudden surge in temperature can have negative implications for the workforce, add to that other factors such as heat generating equipment or critical PPE requirements and the potential for heat stress and health and safety issues can suddenly rise!
So, it pays to stay one step ahead during the summer months and to consider your requirement for a commercial air conditioner hire early in the season. Tool Hire Express supply portable air conditioning units to customers in a range of industries, including factories and manufacturing facilities, hospitals and healthcare facilities, and commercial offices. Considering in advance what air conditioning equipment you may need, can help to ensure fast access to the optimum equipment for your team - thereby helping to maintain productivity and providing a solution to heat stress at work!
What is thermal comfort?
Thermal comfort takes into account a range of environmental, work-related and personal factors when deciding what makes a comfortable workplace temperature. Thermal comfort is not just measured by room temperature but is influenced by a range of factors including how physical the work is, humidity levels, radiant heat sources and personal factors such as metabolic heat or clothing.
Ideally, achieving a thermal environment that satisfies the majority of the workforce is the ultimate aim. If you can successfully manage thermal comfort, you can also improve morale and productivity as well as reducing the likelihood of health and safety issues such as heat stress at work. People working in uncomfortably hot environments are more likely to take short cuts to get out of uncomfortable environments; they might even remove personal protective equipment to cool down and their ability to concentrate may reduce, which can increase the likelihood of unsafe behaviour.
What do the regulations say?
As many workplaces are not designed for extreme heat, thermal comfort is often out of workers’ control. It is therefore the employer’s responsibility to ensure adequate control measures are in place. Temperatures in the indoor workplace are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which place a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace.
Whilst the Approved Code of Practice suggests the minimum temperature in a workplace should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius, or 13 degrees if work involves significant physical effort, it does not specify a maximum figure. Employers have a duty to determine what reasonable comfort levels will be in their particular circumstances. They are required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees and take action where necessary. This is especially important in workplaces that naturally have higher temperatures, such as some factories or manufacturing facilities.
How can you decide which air conditioner is right for your environment?
Hiring air conditioning units is an ideal way to control temperature and to manage the risks associated with heat stress in the workplace. Tool Hire Express supplies a range of air conditioning units available to hire for both short and long-term periods. If you need to manage the heat permanently emitted by equipment, then it might be beneficial to make a long-term industrial air conditioning unit hire or consider hiring industrial fans for your site. Alternatively, you may only need them for certain periods of the year to manage seasonal temperature changes.
Before hiring an air conditioning unit, it is wise to consider the following factors:
- How large is the area you need to cool?
- How many people occupy the space?
- What heat-emitting devices are in the space (such as computers or industrial equipment for example)
- Is the space shady or is it in direct sunlight?
- Will the space used to site the air conditioning unit be limited or restricted?
Based on these considerations, and a few rather complicated calculations behind the scenes, our teams will be able to calculate the size and the amount of air conditioning units recommended for your workspace. Our engineers can visit your site and undertake a survey and develop the optimum solution for you.
Our range of air conditioning units are perfect for commercial and industrial facilities.
Air Conditioning Unit Hire: We hold a range of portable air conditioning units and can provide the suitable size of equipment to cool small meeting rooms in an office, up to a large and expansive factory floor. Our units are mobile and easy to use and will provide from 8000 BTU up to 12500 BTU.
We also stock a range of other items which are useful to bring down the temperature in your workplace:
Warehouse Fan Hire: This product offers a quick way of cooling down your work area or warehouse and is ideal for use in large areas such as factories and large shops.
Air Mover Hire: Our 300mm, 110 volt air mover provides exceptional air flow and pressure. This unit has a 1.5mm high grade steel body with aluminium alloy motor housing, making it robust and suitable for large industrial or commercial premises.
Keep one step ahead and plan your air conditioner hire early
The unpredictable British weather can make it difficult to plan, but if the summer heat does strike, air conditioner equipment can suddenly go into high demand and customers often struggle to get the quantity they need.
We always recommend talking to our team early in the season to get an understanding of your requirements. Then, if you do need to hire fast, you will be one step ahead of the crowds! Of course, you can always hire air conditioning equipment throughout the summer months to be certain that you have the right equipment available to keep your team comfortable.
However, it is not just during unexpected hot weather that customers need to hire from us. Tool Hire Express also works with customers to ensure they have the necessary air conditioning equipment available during any upcoming planned maintenance works. Our engineers can visit your site to assess and provide the right type of air conditioners that can keep temperatures under control whilst the maintenance work takes place.
How to Hire from Tool Hire Express
Our experts can provide useful advice on which products are available to help with your air conditioning requirements. To hire from Tool Hire Express, you can call into any of our 34 locations across the UK (as well as our A-Plant Plant & Tools locations) and speak to our experts. If you are a regular hirer, it will be worth opening an A-Plant account which gives you access to products across all our specialist divisions. Or, for a one-off hire you can leave a deposit relative to the equipment you want to hire and provide two forms of identification (including a photo ID and a utility bill), and you will be ready to go! If transport is an issue, we also have delivery options available, speak to our team for more information.
All Tool Hire Express stores are accredited with the Hire Association Europe’s ‘SafeHire’ certificate, giving you peace of mind that the equipment you hire has been serviced and maintained to the highest standards.
If you have a more specialist cooling requirement, our Rapid Climate Control division is the market leader in specialist heating, cooling and drying and will be able conduct a free site survey to ensure you have the cooling solution you need.