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Cooling Shirts and Heat Monitors Help Beat Summer Temperatures

 
heat illness, PPE
heat illness, PPE
heat illness, PPE

 
Overview
 

PPE:
 

Positives


Cool Shirts will keep employees cool in a hot work environment. The cooling systems are easy to use, run on batteries and can be cleaned in the washing machine.

Negatives


Users will need to stop work and refill the cooling units with ice periodically.


Bottom Line

Cool Shirt Systems’ portable Cool Shirts, which move cool liquids over the surface of the body, can help alleviate discomfort associated with working in hot conditions and prevent heat illnesses from occurring. SafeTemp heat monitors will alert users when their body temperatures reach unsafe levels.

PostedJuly 21, 2014 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Heat illness can become a real issue at work this time of year, as rising temperatures can put workers at risk for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Heat impacts many industries including construction, agriculture and manufacturing. While safety managers can work to increase air circulation, water consumption and rest breaks, heat can still create dangerous situations in the workplace.

OSHA suggests personal cooling devices can serve as effective PPE in hot environments. Cool Shirt Systems’ portable Cool Shirts, which move cool liquids over the surface of the body, can help alleviate discomfort associated with working in hot conditions and prevent heat illnesses from occurring.

How Cool Shirts Work

PPE, heat illness prevention

Photo: Cool Shirt Systems

Cool Shirts come in a variety of styles, but they all use a system of medical grade capillary tubing to circulate cold water over the skin. These tubes are connected to a cooling unit with a hose. Cool Shirts Systems offers a variety of cooling units as small as a waist pack and as large as a cooler. For workers who need a portable system, the waist pack or a slightly larger backpack are the best options.

The cooling units are filled with ice (block ice lasts longer than crushed or cubed ice) and can keep the user cool for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours (for the portable units). When the shirt begins to lose effectiveness, the user just needs to add more ice to the cooling unit. A battery powers the system, and batteries come in either four-hour or seven-hour options.

While the shirt’s tubing may make it look difficult to clean, it is actually machine-washable and can be dried in the dryer in a laundry bag. This makes it easy to use to shirt on a regular basis.

PPE, heat illness prevention

A Cool Shirt can be hooked up with a portable cooling unit like a backpack. Photo: Cool Shirt Systems

Workplace Applications

Cool Shirt Systems designs cooling clothing for many kinds of people including racecar drivers, athletes, medical professionals and industrial workers.

In an industrial setting, Cool Shirts could be useful in hot outdoor work sites, manufacturing facilities and even confined spaces with high temperatures. In many cases, a portable system will be most effective, but Cool Shirt Systems also offers cooling units that can cool groups of people at one time using a cooler.

The shirts come in a variety of fabrics that include moisture wicking and fire resistant options, so users can choose a shirt suitable to their needs.

The company’s Procool System, which uses liquid CO2 instead of ice water, is especially light, requires no electricity and is even safe to wear in a fire. For fire fighters and others working near heat sources, this could be a good option.

SafeTemp Sensors

heat monitor, PPE, heat illness prevention

Photo: Cool Shirt Systems

Identifying the symptoms of heat illnesses is critical to keeping employees safe on a hot day, and cooling clothing like Cool Shirts can help prevent symptoms from developing in the first place. For especially hot days or times when wearing a cooling shirt isn’t possible, Cool Shirt Systems makes a heat stress monitor that will alert workers when their body temperatures reach unsafe levels.

The monitor is small—only an inch and a half wide—and can be held against the skin using the band of a hat or a bandage. Workers will be alerted when they need to take a break and try to cool down with water, ice, shade and other methods.

An Effective Tool for Combating Heat

Cool Shirt Systems products can be a bit costly (Cool Shirts start at $139.95, SafeTemp Monitors are $99.00 and cooling units are an additional cost), but this technology provides a unique solution for dealing with hot, summer working conditions. For work environments where heat illness poses a real threat, safety managers may want to consider investing of PPE of this nature.
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Katie