Health and safety at the workplace in hot ambient temperatures is difficult to achieve. With the means of cooling textiles such as cooling vest and cooling shirt no one needs to sweat.
Heat and workplace safety H&S are often hard to combine. Often clothing is soaked by sweat and the staff is exhausted. Workplace safety decreases drastically. Personal protection equipment (PPE) often provides heat protection from external factos. It cannot avoid the heat source of the body and therefore leads to more exhaustion and results in loss of performance and health problems.
According to the BAuA (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety & Health) more than 3.5 millions of employees are affected negatively by heat at the workplace in Germany during summer. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy determined that productivity decreased by 12% on hot days.
With the help of an online survey carried out with 88 companies in Germany, a bachelor’s thesis analyzed heat at the workplace and its effects on workers and companies.
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Almost 50% of the companies believed that up to 10% of their staff were affected by heat. In 16% of the companies, more than 30% of the staff were affected. Mainly elder employees succumb to high temperatures and the average age of the workforce in companies increases year by year. It is evident that the impacts of heat to the attractiveness of Germany as business location are also significant. Downtimes and sick rates increase.
About 43% of the companies, have a workplaces exceeds 26°C all over the year. 56% of the companies operate workplaces that exceed 26°C in summer. More than 75% of the companies have workplaces that are hotter than 37°C. These places are officially classified as hot workplaces and therefore have to comply with regulative H&S requirements.
When asked whether employees suffer from high temperatures at the workplace, 94% of the companies answer this with "Yes". They report that the stress level of their staff increases in heat.
75% of the companies interviewed believed, that the sick rate was elevated when temperatures rise. Apart from health problems of workers, this evidently led to higher downtimes. This resulted in less overall productivity.
96% of the interviewees said that concentration and performance was decreased at hot temperatures, which had a direct effect on performance.
Another aspect regarding heat is aggressiveness. This aspect is additionally supported by studies of Solomon Hsiang of Berkely University. In 2009, Wuppertal University found out that aggressiveness increased in heat. This issue is supposed to be reflected in the working atmosphere and shop morale.
The question whether the working atmosphere deteriorates in heat or whether conflicts or aggressivity increases in heat was analyzed. Although this aspect is relatively new, more than 50% (56%) of the companies being interviewed confirmed the question.
Workplaces with temperatures exceeding 26°C or even 37°C are to be found in many areas, however mainly in the production of steel and plastics.
E.COOLINE has already been successfully tested in most of these areas: automotive industry, foundries, still mills, glass industry or on construction sites.
In many cases, E.COOLINE succeeded to keep the body temperature at the normal physiological level of 28-32°C. Compared to no cooling, the temperature could be decreased by 6°C.
The "THERMOMAN*"study conducted by the Swiss Research Institute Empa - Materials Science and Technology in St. Gallen confirmed the efficiency of E.COOLINE. The parts of the body protected by the high-tech material showed a lower temperature rise than those not protected by the new high-tech fleece. Cf. Empa study report n° 204'959
A thermo kinetics laboratory study carried out in-vitro of the high-tech material determined a temperature reduction by 6°C from 24°C to 18°C. With outside temperatures of 30°C, the temperature on the high-tech material was determined at cool 16°C for more than 20 hours.
The quantity of water evaporated in the 3D structure of the E.COOLINE material is, per time unit, higher at elevated temperatures and thus produces a greater cooling effect through higher energy consumption. Cooling at lower temperatures is also lower because less water is evaporated per time unit.
E.COOLINE reacts similar to an automatic air conditioning system. At high temperatures more cooling energy is released.