Workplace air conditioning
The responsibilities of an employer regarding workplace temperature during summer is an important factor during the warmer months. Failure to ensure a stable temperature can lead to an unproductive workforce as well as cause health issues, as a result of dehydration and other heat-related conditions.
Workplace temperature is an important factor to monitor and manage, for both the safety and comfort of employees. Normal operating temperatures for workplace environments are vital to continual productivity.
Indoor conditions requirements
Where air conditioning cannot be placed in a work environment – such as in an environment which requires a specific temperature for manufacturing processes – then fans should be used to ensure appropriate air flow. Sufficient space should also be provided to ensure freedom of movement.
Advantages and disadvantages
Many studies show that increased temperature can have a direct impact on productivity. Heat can make workers feel hot and sluggish. The warmer weather is also a disadvantage for hay fever sufferers - with running eyes and general discomfort having a direct impact on their workload.
As heat can increase moisture levels, which in turn leads to more mould and mildew forming. This adds to maintenance costs as well as potential respiratory issues for staff.
On the other hand, air conditioning can also dry out the work environment which can cause throat irritation and problems for workers who wear contact lenses. Also, extreme temperature changes from the outdoors to indoors can cause issues for workers who need to come and go frequently. Regulating the difference is important to ensure no discomfort in this situation.
Regular maintenance and checks are needed to ensure workplace air conditioning is working at optimal levels at all times. Like any piece of machinery, air conditioning needs to be checked and worked on in order to ensure performance is not affected at peak times of the year. This is done to check for clogging due to dirt and debris in the filters and also changing them when necessary.
--Heritage Heating and Cooling 13:39, 21 Aug 2017 (BST)
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