We all know that heat intense environments are uncomfortable, but in a working environment it can be costly to a company’s bottom-line. Heat-stress and heat-related illnesses are a very real challenge in the summer months. If you are a manager or owner of a business that conducts work outdoors or in an un-air-conditioned setting, it is important to assess the risks AHEAD of a heat-related illness or injury. OSHA offers a tool that estimates just how much an accident can cost in terms of impacting profitability: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/safetypays/estimator.html
Using the tool, if you select “Heat Prostration” as the Injury type and use their 3% default profit margin, you will find that just ONE heat-related accident can have a direct cost a direct of more than $23,000 with indirect costs doubling the amount.
Studies have also shown that you risk a 16.6% decrease in productivity when working in temperatures over 92°F as noted in the following illustration. In fact, high temperatures increase the likelihood of injury or illness and that can result in higher legal and insurance costs.
Take steps now, not after it is too late. Be proactive in guarding against heat-stress. In addition to providing hydration and scheduling breaks, consider using a portable evaporative cooler to lower ambient temperatures in the workplace. Cooler working conditions will help reduce the threat of heat-related illnesses, increase worker effectiveness and reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents.