As the weather starts to warm up and we dial down the heating, thoughts of how to effectively keep cool throughout the summer months are fast becoming a topic of discussion. This is certainly true for well-insulated warehouses or those with mezzanine floors that are prone to overheating. For these, the hotter weather can create very uncomfortable working conditions and be potentially problematic for the storage of certain products.
To help you prepare for the hot days to come, here at EcoCooling we have put together a list of 5 ways you can prepare for the heat in your warehouse and keep your employees comfortable.
1. Keep employees hydrated
When it’s hot, you need to have a drink every 20 minutes to keep hydrated. You shouldn’t wait until you’re feeling thirsty and you should try and start drinking before the working day gets underway so you begin the day fully hydrated. Water should be the main source of fluids but sports drinks are also good to help restore electrolytes. Caffeinated and fizzy drinks should be kept to a minimum as they are diuretics and cause dehydration.
A great way of helping employees keep on top of their fluid intake is by issuing company water bottles. This means workers have a refillable bottle that they can have close by to ensure they are always hydrated.
2. Relax the dress code
Where possible, relax the dress code and encourage workers to wear more lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Depending on the safety requirements on your site, it might be trickier to do this as certain PPE will need to be worn. However, if you issue uniforms try introducing moisture-wicking clothing to the options for employees as this type of material draws the sweat from the body, helping you to cool down quicker.
3. Provide shade
It’s only natural on hot days to take your breaks outside to get some fresh air. However, the areas outside warehouses are often large open yards that provide little or no shade. To help employees get the fresh air they want without the sun beating down on them, ensure there is a shaded area for employees to rest.
Shaded areas are also great spaces for anyone who is feeling overheated at any part of the day, with a 5-minute break in a shaded spot enough to help avoid heat-related illness.
4. Adjust your schedule
The NHS advises that you should stay out of the sun between 1pm and 3pm as this is the hottest part of the day. If possible, adjust schedules so that any heavy work doesn’t need to be done within these hours.
Try prioritising the hottest work for first thing in the morning or last thing in the day. This won’t always be possible with warehouse deliveries happening throughout the day. However, any steps that can be taken to minimise the more labour- intensive work during these hours will help keep your employees cooler.
5. Install an evaporative cooling system
Take control of the heat inside your warehouse with an effective, open-space cooling solution. Evaporative cooling is the ideal system for warehouses that have large open doors, as unlike traditional air conditioning, it doesn’t affect the performance of the coolers. Also, having your doors open doesn’t increase the cost of running the system, which is vital in a warehouse environment where deliveries are frequent.
What’s more, EcoCooling’s units are able to cool large areas consistently and can keep your warehouse below 25oC even on the hottest days of the year. The fresh air technology is not just effective, it is a low-energy and low-cost solution that will enable you to meet any carbon neutral targets you have in place.
EcoCooling units are already keeping warehouses throughout the UK cool, so you can trust in what is a proven solution for your operation.
Delve into our case studies to find out more.