Its what we have been doing for over 30 years now – taken directly from the HSE – Controlling Thermal Comfort.
These should be the first choice to reduce or eliminate the hazard. Although the initial cost of engineering controls may seem high, it has been found that the implementation cost is often offset by the resulting improvements to production.
Any practical solution to controlling thermal comfort is likely to require a combination of different options developed in consultation with employers, employees and their representatives.
Heating – Many types of heating systems are available:
hot air-based heating systems
water-based central heating systems using radiators
combined heat and ventilation systems using air conditioning systems
electrical heating systems using electrical heaters
under-floor heating systems using either electrical coils or heated fluids
overhead heating systems
Most of these systems are useful. However, the beneficial effects may be restricted in some situations to the immediate locality of the heat source.
Air movement – There are many methods for increasing air movement, ie fans of various sizes (but may cause draught or noise problems). Large diameter ceiling fans can provide air movement that is effective over a wide area. Large exhaust fans, mounted in roofs and walls, are useful for removing heated air and drawing in cooler air from outside.
Air conditioning – This can range from small units that lower the air temperature but do not control humidity levels or air movement, to large units that can cope with extreme conditions as well as humidity and air movement.
When air conditioning systems are used, take care to ensure uniform air distribution throughout the workplace, otherwise some employees may complain of feeling cold while others are feeling hot. Air conditioning units should be operated as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Evaporative cooling – Evaporative coolers produce a moderate reduction in air temperature and increase humidity. They operate by passing hot air over water-saturated pads and the water evaporation effect reduces the air temperature.
Thermal insulation – There are many different types of thermal insulation materials, eg loose fills, rock wool and insulation boards. The material acts as a barrier, which slows heat flow in the summer and heat loss in the winter, but it is only effective where there is a temperature difference between the inside and the outside of the building or between two areas inside a building.