WORKING IN A COLD ENVIRONMENT working in cold environments was once restricted

Working in a cold environment working in cold

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Evaporation increases with adequate ventilation. WORKING IN A COLD ENVIRONMENT working in cold environments was once restricted to non-tropical or highly elevated regions. Now as a result of modern refrigeration, various groups of workers, even in tropical countries, are exposed to a cold environment. Exposure to cold for short periods of time can produce serious effects, especially when workers are exposed to temperatures below 10°C The loss of body heat is uncomfortable and quickly affects work efficiency. Workers in cold climates and refrigerated premises should be well protected against the cold by wearing suitable clothes, including footwear, gloves and, most importantly, a hat. Normally, dressing in layers traps dead air and serves as an insulation layer, thus keeping the worker warmer. In controlling the thermal environment, one or more of the following principles may be applied: 1. Regulating workroom temperature by preventing outside heat or cold from entering (improved design of the roof, insulation material or installing an air-conditioned workroom. Air-conditioning is costly, especially in factories. But it is sometimes a worthwhile investment if an appropriate type is chosen); 2. Provision of ventilation in hot workplaces by increasing natural ventilating through openings or installing ventilation devices; 3. Separation of heat sources from the working area, insulation of hot surfaces and pipes, or placement of barriers between the heat sources and the workers; 4. Control of humidity with a view to keeping it at low levels, for example by preventing the escape of steam from pipes and equipment; 5. Provision of adequate personal protective clothing and equipment for workers exposed to excessive radiant heat or excessive cold (heat-protective clothing with high insulation value may not be recommended for jobs with long exposure to moderate or heavy work as it prevents evaporative heat loss); 6. Reduction of exposure time, for example, by mechanization, remote control or alternating work schedules; 7. Insertion of rest pauses between work periods, with comfortable, if possible air-conditioned, resting facilities; 8. Ensuring a supply of cold drinking-water for workers in a hot environment and of hot drinks for those exposed to a cold environment. VENTILATION Ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into a space and is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used for purposes of thermal comfort or dehumidification. Ventilation is the dynamic parameter that complements the concept of air space. For a given number of workers, the smaller the work premises the more should be the ventilation. Ventilation differs from air circulation. Ventilation replaces contaminated air by fresh air, whereas as the air-circulation merely moves the air without renewing it. Where the air temperature and humidity are high, merely to circulate the air is not only ineffective but also increases heat absorption. Ventilation disperses the heat generated by machines and people at work. Adequate
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  • Spring '14
  • Onyancha PhD

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