Occupational Heat Stress Risk for Power Plant Workers
Working inside power plants can bring considerable stress, especially in terms of heat stress. Heat stress becomes a factor for workers who are in hot environment, such as steel workers, miners, construction, and certainly those employed at power plants. One way to prevent serious illness and injury from heat stress is by using Kestrel weather meters, specifically the Kestrel 5400 Pro Heat Stress Tracker & Kestrel DROP D2HS Heat Stress Monitor and Data Logger.
What is Heat Stress?
Heat stress is the result of the body becoming unable to control its internal temperature. When the body reaches the point of heat stress, workers may experience symptoms such as tiredness, lethargy, dizziness, feeling faint, pale skin, excess sweating, and muscle cramps.
The Risk of Heat Stress in Power Plants
On the first day on the job in hot environments, pulse rate is typically higher as well as general discomfort. However, over time, the body becomes acclimated to the heat---but this doesn't eliminate the risk of heat stress.
Furthermore, keep in mind that heat stress isn't only a concern during the summer. With power plants, there is a risk all year long. As of 2017, there are over 8,500 power plants that use generators with a combined nameplate generation capacity of at least 1 megawatt. Combine this significant amount of heat and energy with small spaces, and it clearly shows how heat stress prevention is critical for power plant workers.
Factors of Heat Stress
There are various factors that contribute to calculating the risk of heat stress. These include environmental factors such as humidity, wind temperature, and radiant heat. Clothing and workload ( i.e. metabolic rate) are also considered when determining the potential risk of heat stress for power plants.
Measuring for Heat Stress
The first step is to use the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) measurements to determine hazards of heat exposure. This is the most accurate tool for adjusting the temperature for heat stress factors.
From there, Kestrel meter 5400 PRO HST and DROP HST bring significant benefits to monitoring heat stress. Both instruments are able to measure the environmental components that contribute to heat stress, such as temperature, humidity, and radiant heat. These small and rugged environmental trackers can help determine appropriate types of clothing to wear that won't cause overheating.
Stay Safe with Kestrel Weather Meters
Whether you're working in a power plant on a hot and humid outdoor climate, Kestrel weather meters can help employees stay safe in potentially hazardous conditions. For reliable heat stress monitoring, invest in the Kestrel meter 5400 PRO HST and DROP HST.