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The Cost of Heat Stress and Heat Related Injuries

by Melodie Elliott | Jun 21, 2019

We all know heat intense environments are uncomfortable, but in a working environment it can be costly to a company’s bottom-line. For many businesses, heat-stress and heat-related illnesses -- such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke -- are a very real challenge in the summer months. Heat is a condition that affects thousands of worksites – both indoors and out.

The National Weather Service states that heat is the weather event that produces the greatest number of fatalities (ahead of flooding and tornadoes) each year. If you are a manager or owner of a business that conducts work outdoors or in an un-air-conditioned setting, it is important to assess the risks ahead of a heat-related illness or injury.

OSHA offers a tool that estimates just how much an accident can cost in terms of impacting profitability Using the tool, if you select “Heat Prostration” as the injury type and use their 3% default profit margin, you will find that just ONE heat-related accident can have a direct cost a direct of more than $23,000 with indirect costs doubling the amount.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, productivity declines roughly 14% during weekdays above 86°F and can cost an average of $20 per person. In fact, high temperatures increase the likelihood of injury or illness and that can result in higher legal and insurance costs. This can affect not only your employees, but your bottom line.

Take steps now, not after it is too late to address heat safety in your business. Be proactive in guarding against heat-stress. In addition to providing hydration and scheduling breaks, consider using a portable evaporative cooler to lower ambient temperatures in the workplace. Evaporative cooling is a cost efficient alternative to traditional air conditioners. Also, evaporative cooling systems do not have the same environmental impact or maintenance requirements as that of air conditioning. Cooler working conditions will help reduce the threat of heat-related illnesses, increase worker effectiveness and reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents.

evaporative cooling at work

Portacool evaporative coolers help bring down the ambient working temperature. Plus, they work best where traditional air conditioning is impractical, ineffective or simply too expensive. Unlike oscillating or mounted stationary fans that simply circulate stagnate, hot air, an evaporative cooler actually cools the distributed air using the all-natural process of evaporation. While evaporative coolers do use water, it is important to note that they are not misters. We know you trust us to keep you and your employees safe. We don’t take that responsibility lightly.