Heat Stress: What is Wet Bulb Globe Temperature?

Heat Stress: What is Wet Bulb Globe Temperature?

There are many ways to measure the weather around us. When it comes to measuring heat stress, wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) takes temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle, and cloud cover into account. WBGT differs from heat index. Heat index considers temperature and humidity and it’s calculated for shady areas.

WBGT vs. Heat Index

Why Use Wet Bulb Globe Temperature?

Organizations such as the military and OSHA use WBGT to help manage workload in direct sunlight. This is also an important measurement for those who are doing exercise in hot conditions.

When using WBGT, it can be used as a guideline for safety in many practices and industries. In very hot climates, high school football teams may not practice or play games if the WBGT is too high. These guidelines are indicated by region, as some climates remain much warmer than others during the year. This matters because the people working out in hot conditions may or may not be used to performing in hot and humid conditions.

In terms of the military, WBGT is used to track conditions for basic training during extreme conditions. Modifications are used depending on the WBGT reading. OSHA also uses the same guidelines as the military. The guidelines are used for professions such as steel mill workers, construction workers, law enforcement, and more. The US Military and OSHA use a Work/Rest and Water Consumption table based on WBGT.

Why Track WBGT?

Whether you're concerned about WBGT for recreational or professional purposes, this reading can help prevent heat illnesses and even save lives. Overexerting yourself in hot and humid conditions can lead to an array of potentially serious issues, including:

  • High body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Hot or dry skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Altered mental state
  • Heat stroke
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Thirst

Understanding the outdoor conditions helps reduce the risk of those exercising or working outside. The Kestrel Weather Meter is an excellent device for tracking WBGT, keeping all of those involved in the safest condition possible.

Measuring WBGT with the Kestrel Weather Meter

One excellent choice is the Kestrel 5400 for measuring WBGT and heat stress conditions. It uses a 1-inch black globe to gather data from the environment, which isn’t used with other devices. A temperature sensor is installed inside that helps calculate WBGT. It works indoors as well as outdoors, making it possible to avoid heat stress situations in all environments.

As one of the most user-friendly devices on the market for WBGT, it's waterless and takes its readings with onboard digital sensors. Find out how the Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker can help you provide accurate WBGT readings and keep your team safe under the toughest conditions.

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