Sep 1, 2016 | OPERATIONS

In the machine shop business we often consider stress, heat and pressure, as it relates to combustion, compression, bi-metals, etc. But when the weather gets extremely hot, like it’s been this summer, it’s also important for Managers to consider the heat, pressure, and stress on our employees. There are four environmental factors which affect the amount of stress a worker faces in a hot work area: temperature, humidity, radiant heat (such as from a Hot Tank) and air velocity. OSHA makes lots of common sense recommendations for business managers, like shielding workers from radiant heat sources, use of fans and cooling units, etc. However, for most small businesses, education is the most important factor so workers are aware of the need to replace fluids and salt lost through sweat. Supervisors should consider an individual worker’s physical condition when determining fitness for hot environments. Alternating work and providing longer rest periods in cool areas can help workers avoid heat stress. Many shops alter their business hours by starting early in the morning so they can put in a full day’s work and close shop before temperatures reach their daily peak.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO
September, 2016