Diamond Environmental Ltd has the expertise and experience to help clients who have workers in challenging Thermal environments as well as those with Thermal comfort issues in less extreme conditions.
Assessing the risk from the thermal environment is not easy. One of the main reasons for this is that there are a large number of factors which affect a workers physiological response to heat. The main ones are
Four environmental parameters
- – Air temperature
- – Mean radiant temperature
- – Relative humidity
- – Air velocity
And three “human” factors
- – Work rate (which affects metabolic rate) and
- – Clothing level
- – Whether the person is acclimatised to hot conditions
All of these parameters* can be quantified, either by measurement or estimation, but it is very difficult to make sense of the results. We need to find a way of pulling them together so we can decide whether we have a problem and, if so, how big the problem is.
Over thirty different indices have been developed over the years, taking into account some or all of these parameters, which aim to integrate the relevant variables into a single value which relates to the stress placed upon workers by the thermal environment they encounter. These indices have differing degrees of success in meeting the objective of a single number descriptor for any situation. Each has a range of environmental parameters over which it is applicable, but outside of this range accuracy is questionable. Working out what is the best approach for individual situations is what we at Diamond do. Giving our clients the best possible advice.
We can help clients through the complexities of assessing the risks to workers associated with the Thermal Environment they work in and then offering solutions, if necessary, to safe guard workers health.
* Other factors can also influence the risk too, such as posture, body weight, medication. A fully comprehensive analysis would consider them too, although it is not so easy to quantify them and including them introduces complications.