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Heat Is More Than A Temperature Reading

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 @ 04:45 PM

Assessing risk for heat-related illnesses means looking beyond the thermometer to other indicators that add to the potential for illness or injury. The “heat index” is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account. Put simply, it can feel much warmer when the heat index value is factored in because it combines air temperatures and humidity to describe perceived outdoor temperature.

The key thing to know is the higher the heat index, the hotter the weather feels given that sweat does not readily evaporate and cool the skin. According to OSHA, the heat index is a better measure than air temperature alone for assessing the risk to workers from environmental heat sources.*

revised_heat_index

This guide helps employers and worksite supervisors prepare & implement hot weather plans.
This guidance is available online at http://osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/.

 

Take care to protect your employees in these conditions. Provide water. Offer regular breaks in the shade. If air-conditioning is unavailable or impractical, consider creating a cooling station where a portable evaporative cooler can be placed to help lower temperatures by as much as 30°F. Precaution and prevention are the keys to keeping employees safe when the mercury AND heat index rise.

*Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/index.html; wording taken verbatim from Introduction to OSHA’s “Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers”

Topics: evaporative cooling, heat stress, OSHA, heat index

Insight on maintenance of evaporative cooling media

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Evaporative cooling media is used for a range of agricultural applications such as poultry houses, greenhouses, barns and pens. Proper maintenance of your evaporative cooling system is important to achieve maximum cooling efficiency.

Here, we provide a link to a recent  Poultry Times article by Michael Czarick, Extension Engineer at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension. Czarick provides keen insight on keeping your evaporative media in optimum shape to extend their life and efficiency. 

http://www.poultrytimes.com/eedition/page_04683960-84a1-5e40-b3f3-66ce57470ae3.html

pads-resized-600

 

 

 

Topics: Kuul pads, poultry times, Michael Czarick, evaporative cooling media

The Cost of Heat-Related Injuries

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

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.

OSHA_Estimated_cost_of_injury_and_illness_and_impact_on_company

OSHA’s $afety Pays Program, “Estimated Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Estimated Impact on a Company’s Profitability Worksheet

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.

COMFORTBYNUMBERS

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.

Topics: OSHA, evaporative coolers, heat stress; productivity,, avoid heat stress, @heatstress

Thanking Our Local First Responders

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

First Responders are committed to serving others. They are first to show up in the face of danger and natural disaster when citizens need them the most.

Portacool recently sponsored a luncheon to celebrate and thank the First Responders in Shelby County, where we are headquartered. The luncheon, held June 5, 2015, at the John Dean Windham Civic Center in Center, Texas, was hosted by the Center Independent School District and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Portacool had employees on hand to serve food and drinks as well as pass out tokens of our appreciation to the First Responders.

Guests included members of the Center Police Department, Center Fire Department, Shelby County Sherriff’s Department, Texas State Troopers, ACE EMS, City of Center Judges Office, Shelby County Judges Office, Shelby County Attorney’s Office and Shelby County District Attorney’s Office and Assistant District Attorney’s Office.  

These heroes perform miracles, support others and give part of themselves, and sometimes their lives, to save and protect others. From each of us at Portacool, LLC we say thank you for all you do.

 

First_responders_luncheon

 

Topics: Shelby County Today, First Responders

Every Degree Matters

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

Heat related illness and deaths are a real concern for employers and workers. According to the National Safety Council, 11 American workers die on the job each day. As we continue to think about safety this month, taking preventative steps to reducing heat related illnesses is key.

National_Safety_Council.org_info_graphic_on_deaths_on_worksties

Source: http://www.nsc.org/Pages/safety-at-work.aspx National Safety Council, “Safety at Work”

Heat-related illness can be prevented. Take measures to combat heat-related injuries:

  1. Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand.
  2. Schedule rest breaks and add a cooling station when possible with tools such as a portable evaporative cooler that works on a standard 110-V from worksites.
  3. Stay aware of conditions with your phone or tablet, especially if working outdoors. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15°F. OSHA has an app (download info here) to help calculate the heat index for the worksite and helps to identify the risk level.
  4. Be informed by reviewing the heat illness signs and symptoms. Training is this area is worthwhile.
  5. Use a buddy system. Monitor each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA's heat illness webpage and online guidance page for employers that outlines how to use the heat index to protect workers.

Topics: heat stress, Extreme Heat, OSHA, evaporative coolers, National Safety Council, avoid heat stress, NSC, portabable evaporative cooler

June is National Safety Month

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Tue, Jun 02, 2015 @ 10:45 AM

This month, via promotion of National Safety Month, the National Security Council is encouraging everyone to take extra care and precaution to maintain personal and work safety. As you can imagine, heat is one of the biggest safety concerns during the summer. Working in a hot environment can be more than uncomfortable, it can be a health risk and dangerous. According to the Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, each year thousands of people become sick from heat-related illnesses. Last year, at least 30 workers in this country died from heat exposure.

It is important to understand how the body handles heat and hot conditions. As temperatures rise, the body releases heat more slowly. As humidity increases, sweat evaporation decreases and stagnant air makes sweat evaporation more difficult. When these three factors are combined, you have a higher potential for health and safety concerns.*

In addition to the personal health risks, it is important to note that you are putting yourself and others in your work environment at risk when you are not properly prepared for the heat. The chances for accidents due to sweaty hands, dizziness and decreased mental alertness go up considerably in hot conditions. Additionally, increased body temperature and discomfort can lead to irritability and frustration that could lend to more careless behavior.

The key to staying safe in the heat is to take preventative measures. OSHA advises workers to follow these simple steps:

  • WATER: You need plenty of water throughout the day—every 15 minutes. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.
  • REST: Rest breaks help your body recover.
  • SHADE: Resting in the shade or in air-conditioning helps you cool down.

 Keep in mind that cool air from evaporative coolers can also be a practical alternative when air conditioned spaces are unavailable as noted in the “shade” step. Portacool evaporative coolers are portable and work off a standard 110-V plug making accessibility easy in hard-to-cool spaces or outdoors. You could even consider setting-up a cooling station.

Browns_Orchard_in_center_from_Misty Houston_Hobby_airport

Taking care to follow these tips can go a long way. This month we’ll continue to explore various heat-safety topics. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

*Source: Click-Safety http://www.clicksafety.com Heat Stress Course

Topics: evaporative cooling, heat stress, OSHA, cooling station, cooling solutions, National Safety Month

The Portacool Team Gives Back

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 03:28 PM

This May, our team focused on opportunities to serve our communities by participating in worthy causes with tremendous impact.  On a broader geographic scale, Portacool joined with the Home Depot Foundation in a special building event to benefit three military veterans and their families in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rick Kelly, National Director of Retail Sales for Portacool, represented our company by serving on the restoration team that made significant improvements to one veteran’s home exterior.  From painting to sod installation in the front yard and building a new fence and garden, the work was incredible.

 
According to Rick (pictured below, right), “It was a remarkable effort by the Home Depot Foundation, and all of the vendors that participated in the event. The veterans were on hand, and participated where possible.  They were truly grateful for our efforts and demonstrated this on many occasions.”
HD_Foundation_Event_4
HD_Foundation_Event_2
 
On a local level, a team of Center, Texas-based employees banded together to raise $4,460 for the American Cancer Society through participation in the Relay for Life.  Thirteen team members represented Portacool in the Friday-evening walking event, while countless others helped raise the funds by selling tickets to win a unique raffle item:  a special Portacool Cyclone 3000 portable evaporative cooler in a commemorative shade of pink.  Raffle tickets were sold in the weeks leading up to the event, and the very excited winner was presented with the one-of-a-kind Cyclone last week. 
Portacool_Relay_for_Life  Portacool_team
"We think this was an awesome outcome especially considering this was our first year to participate," said Laurie King, Human Resources Director at Portacool.
As Portacool celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, our team is privileged to give back wherever possible.  We are committed to giving our neighbors a helping hand whenever we can through our labor and our cooling solutions.
PAC_Team_Walk 
Kim_Winters_Survivor_March
Kimberly McElroy, Customer Service Manager pictured above, notes why this event was important to her:
"I walked in honor of all other melanoma survivors, and those that weren’t as fortunate as me, who have lost their battle to this terrible form of cancer.  I, along with all other Portacool employees, walked in memory of family and friends that have lost their fight with cancer.  Portacool participated in honor the four team members who have currently won the battle against cancer.  We all walked to find a cure!"
 

Topics: Relay for Life, cyclone 3000, Home Depot Foundation, American Cancer Society

Military Appreciation - We Say Thanks to our Veterans

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 07:00 PM

May is Military Appreciation Month, and we at Portacool want to take moment to acknowledge those who have served our country.  We want to remember the service of  our Veterans who have sacrified so much so that we can live free.

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend kicking-off the summer season with barbeques, picnics and celebrations, let us never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can continue to live in a great and free nation. Be sure to take a few moments today to remember and honor those who have died in service to this great nation that we call home.

We say thank you to the U.S. Veterans who are part of the Portacool family for bravely serving their county.

 

US_ARmy      

 

 Shaun_Williams       Shon_Wainscott

        Shaun Williams - U.S. Army                                 Shon Wainscott -  U.S. Army

 

US_Navy

rickbeeneHR-1       Jeff_Cook_Military_Picture_FORMER_SVCMEN_FOR_MILITARY_APPREC_MNTH

                    Rick Beene - U.S.Navy                                                      Jeff Cook - U.S. Navy

US_Air_Force

 

terryderise

Terry DeRise - U.S. Air Force

 

 

 

 

Topics: Military, Memorial Day, Military Appreciation Month

Heat is on the way...

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 07:00 PM

As we draw closer to June, one thing is certain: the heat is coming! Weather predictions indicate a majority of the country can expect a hotter summer than last. In fact, much of the USA will experience 90°+ temperatures.

Now is the time to prepare for these conditions BEFORE the mercury rises. If you manage work spaces that are open and difficult to cool, or if you are planning significant work outdoors or even entertaining this summer by the grill,  begin assessing your cooling needs now. High temperature environments can contribute to a slower work pace and increase the need for frequent breaks. In fact, studies show that worker productivity will decrease by more than 1% for every two degrees when temperatures rise over 77°F. At temperatures of 92°F or higher, there is a 16.6% decrease in productivity.  And, working in high temperature areas also increases the threat of heat-related illnesses.

Securing effective, affordable cooling solutions ahead of time will be a huge relief when respite from the heat is needed in those hard-to-cool spaces. Consider your cooling options.  Oscillating and ceiling fans simply blow stagnant warm air around.  Smaller fans are portable, but may not be powerful enough to cover a large, open area effectively.  Ceiling fans offer no portability and installation can be costly in an industrial environment.  Misters pose a drenching side effect when used outdoors and often not conducive in a working environment. Evaporative coolers are designed to create a noticeable difference by lowering temperatures by as much as 30°F.  

Low_Res_Portacool_2015_product_line_up_shot

Portacool portable evaporative cooling products combine the natural power of evaporation with the highest quality evaporative media to provide maximum cooling efficiency.  The portability of these evaporative coolers is particularly convenient. They can go anywhere they are needed:  in the garage, shop, auto bay, patio or outdoor work area.  As you begin assessing your needs, we appreciate your consideration. When comfort counts, Portacool™ portable evaporative coolers offer the lowest-cost, most effective cooling solution available.

Visit our products pages to check out our portable evaporative coolers to select the product that is right for you.

  Find out more!

 

 

Topics: evaporative cooling, heat stress, Extreme Heat, weather, cooling solutions, evaporative coolers, Portacool, affordable cooling

Cooling for a Cure!

Posted by Jane Burt on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 10:35 AM

  • Portacool is Cooling for a Cure!

    The 2015 Portacool Relay for Life team is selling raffle tickets for a pink Portacool Cyclone™ 2000 portable evaporative cooler. This evaporative cooler is huge in performance, easy-to-operate and gives you cool air right where you need it. The raffle will be held at the 2015 Relay for Life in Center on May 15. You do not have to be present to win. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

    Tickets are only $5 each or 5 for $20. They can be purchased from any Portacool Relay for Life team member. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold and they are selling fast, so purchase yours now!

 

portacool-relay-for-life

 

Enter to win a pink Portacool Cyclone 2000! Raffle winner will be announced May 15th, 2015, at the Relay for Life in Center, Texas. Winner does not have to be present to win!

Topics: Relay for Life

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