HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY. When employees are exposed to hot temperatures, maintaining a safe work environment can be more challenging than you think. As summertime temperatures continue to rise, it becomes increasingly important for employers to focus on providing workplace conditions that are safe from the excessive heat.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), thousands of workers become sick and even die as a result of exposure to heat each year. In the United States, an average of 400 deaths per year are directly related to heat, and an estimated 1,800 die from illnesses made worse by heat.
Many industries face challenges when it comes to providing a cool working environment, particularly in heat-susceptible areas such as industrial plants, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. When surface temperatures on pipe and equipment routinely exceed 140° F (60° C), measures should be taken to improve the working environment. Without adequate cooling or precautions, workers are put in danger while equipment and manufactured products are at an increased risk of failure, which can impact worker safety and productivity, and certainly, a company’s bottom-line.
So how can you protect your employees from heat exposure while also ensuring that the work is accomplished on time?
According to OSHA, “The best way to prevent heat-related illness is to make the work environment cooler”. However, the dilemma now becomes how to efficiently and economically cool large, open areas where high ambient outdoor temperatures and heat-generating machinery are factors.
Fortunately, the use of industrial insulation on process equipment and piping not only saves money and energy, but also reduces the potential for heat- related illnesses. As insulation is added to systems, the surface temperature of these systems is dramatically reduced. This provides a cooler work environment that yields higher productivity, as workers do not require as many breaks and are less concerned with the potential for burns from hot surfaces. Furthermore, insulation helps reduce the amount of work your machine has to do by decreasing the amount of energy used without sacrificing quality or performance. Learn more about the energy saving benefits of insulation.
The use of UniTherm’s UniVest® and ISOCOVERS Insulation Systems product lines provide easy and efficient ways to save energy and money while creating a cooler and safer work environment. Additionally, these product lines can be purchased online because they now are available in standard “off-the-shelf” sizes, which drastically reduces the time and costs often associated with custom insulation jobs. For all of our heat prevention products, view our online shopping cart here.
For additional tips on how to keep your facility cooler and your workforce happy and motivated, click here for more information about preventing heat-related illness.Share your stories about dangers of heat illness and let us know how you are preparing for the coming summer months on our social media pages: Facebook Twitter Linkedin
Companies always look to make the best decisions when selecting capital projects to work into the budget; simple metrics like Return on Investment and Internal Rate of Return tend to dictate how the budget for these projects is written each year. In an effort to increase the bottom line, investments are often times funneled toward projects and purchases that directly affect sales rather than decreasing operating costs, but sales growth is never guaranteed.
In other cases, capital projects are indefinitely suspended, forcing companies to make due with what they have until either more funding becomes available or sales increase. [Read more…]
Who doesn’t want to save energy? Now more than ever, we are all looking for ways to cut back—we turn down the lights and turn off the thermostat, we run the dishwasher less and take shorter showers—hoping to save some money on the monthly energy bill.
But when you run a large manufacturing plant, the task of saving energy may be a bit more daunting. Before you can start conserving energy, you have to know where the most energy is being consumed and what the best opportunities are for reducing high-energy output.
Knowledge is power, so we’ve put together a simple site survey checklist to help managers get well acquainted with their plant’s energy output. According to the Energy in Plastics Good Practice Guide, you should carry out an initial survey immediately because “if energy is being wasted, it is costing money.” A 20% cut in energy costs can equal the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales.
It’s also a good idea to take an unannounced walk around the site at about mid-shift to see how things are running during normal working hours.
What to look for during an initial walk through
Keep a close eye on the machines. Machines consume about 60% of energy costs. Yikes. But think of it this way—here lies your greatest opportunity for energy savings.
As you survey the site, keep these questions in mind:
- Which areas have the largest energy load? Look for the largest machines; they will have the largest motors and consume the most energy.
- Which motors are running? Would smaller motors be more efficient? Could they be turned off during non-peak hours?
- Are machines well insulated? Is the insulation in good condition?
- Are hot and cold pipes insulated? Is the insulation in good condition?
- Which cooling water pumps and vacuum pumps are running?
- Does compressed air pressure need to be so high, or the vacuum so low? Can you hear steam and compressed air leaks?
- Are lights and machine heaters left on? What is running during lunch breaks and and after working hours?
With a better understanding of where unnecessary energy output occurs, you can now take productive steps to decrease it. Don’t wait—conduct your site survey today to start saving energy and increase that bottom line!
*Statistics from European Best Practice Guide.
It’s a real pleasure to introduce Greg Canniff and Justin Ferrarello as UniTherm guest bloggers. Greg, a Specification Sales Specialist, and Justin, a Social Media and Marketing Specialist, both work for MH Companies, a leading provider of lighting and integrated controls solutions. We’re excited about the opportunity to share their insight about the latest in energy efficient lighting technology!
Greetings from the world of Lighting! We’re happy to offer you a glimpse into our industry through our friends here at UniTherm.
As we’re all aware, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, has become the driving factor in developing building projects across the globe. We’re asked to consider energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and sustainable methods.
Energy Efficient Lighting Options
The latest projects turning heads are those attempting to set the bar with goals of Net-Zero energy. Net-zero energy buildings operate independently of local energy grids, and some even produce more energy than they consume. We’re approaching those ambitious goals using innovative products with solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies; LED is the most widely known SSL technology.