Heat Stress Monitoring Services (WBGT)

Stress Monitoring Services (WBGT)

Last Sunday, many cities in Northeastern states experienced record-high temperatures. These included Newark, NJ at 101°F, and Reading, PA at 97°F.

New York didn’t break the previous year’s record. But it was still a sweltering 97°F as well.

Finding a sufficiently cool air-conditioned room probably helped many in these cities. But this solution isn’t as easy for those working outdoors. Every year, millions of American workers face hazardous heat exposure.

This occurs in both indoor and outdoor work environments. These conditions can increase the occurrence of workplace accidents. It can also result in extreme illness, even death.

You can protect your workers with heat stress monitoring. Read on to learn more about what this is.

The Signs of Heat Stress

Any person exposed to excessive heat will experience various symptoms of heat stress. These symptoms can include:

  • Cramps
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Sudden heart failure
  • Burns

This is often the result for those employed in high-temperature environments. These symptoms become even worse for workers with underlying conditions. This includes heart disease and obesity.

What is Heat Stress Monitoring?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established specific standards to protect workers. These include:

  • Workplace limits and surveillance
  • Warning workers about hazardous areas
  • Wearing protective clothing and using protective equipment
  • Training workers and providing them with relevant information
  • Controlling heat stress

Most importantly, employers must also conduct medical or heat stress monitoring. This involves using a heat stress monitor to assess the workplace environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses WBGT to determine the presence of heat stress hazards.

What Does the WBGT Measure?

WBGT is the acronym for Wet Bulb Globe Temperature. It measures heat stress by taking into account the effect of the following on humans:

  • Wind speed
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Infrared and visible radiation 

This facilitates the measurement of heat stress in direct sunlight. WBGT monitoring uses a specific index derived from three specific measurements. These include dry and wet bulb temperatures as well as global temperatures.

It’s usually a single number. It’s been determined that readings of 75°F and over usually result in heat injuries. Employers should, therefore, take preventative measures before readings get to this level.

Protecting Your Workers with Heat Stress Monitoring

If this year is any indication, Americans expect temperatures to continue rising. This is a phenomenon that can be particularly hazardous.

It will likely affect those working outdoors or in high-temperature indoor environments even more. Organizations must take specific measures to protect their workers.

If your workers fall into this category, you should follow the standards set by NIOSH and OSHA. This includes heat stress monitoring. It will help you keep track of increasing temperatures that can be hazardous to your workers.

Phase Associates can help you protect your workers. We’ll conduct an industrial hygiene assessment to identify heat stress conditions. Don’t delay! Contact us to learn more!