Warm Up Cold Employees – Indoors or Outdoors

Warm Up Cold Employees – Indoors or Outdoors

As the temperatures drop, so does productivity.  By using effective portable heating, you not only make employees happier and more comfortable—you can actually boost productivity, and get more work done in the long cold days of winter.

Productivity Drops + Mistakes Increase—in Cold Temps

Master_SilentDrives_IndustrialThe connection between cold temps and productivity is well-established by research.  A 2004 study by Cornell University showed that chilly workers not only make more errors on the job—they increase a worker’s overall hourly labor cost by as much as 10%.

In fact, when researchers turned up the heat from 68°F to 77°F, the number of errors fell by 44%—and output increased by 150%.  The conclusion?  Getting employees into a more “comfortable thermal zone” can actually save employers about $2 per worker, per hour.  So for a team of 10, that’s around $800/week.

OSHA’s Requirements for Cold Temps

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes that many workers are subject to cold stress—especially hypothermia, frost bite, or trench foot—that can threaten health or even life, typically when working outdoors in the extreme cold of winter.

But even indoor employees who work in refrigerated, drafty, unheated, or wet facilities can experience cold stress.

While OSHA does not have a specific standard that covers working in cold environments, they do state clearly in their Cold Stress Guide that employers are responsible for providing employees with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that can cause physical harm or death—including cold stress.

Using Portable Forced-Air Space HeatersMH-150T-DFV

One easy solution?  Portable forced-air space heaters, which can boost productivity quickly—by warming up the immediate environment around an employee, both indoors and outdoors.  These versatile heaters not only make employees more comfortable during the cold winter months, they can actually keep people on the jobsite longer—and make them more productive, reducing errors and increasing overall productivity.

But if you’re working in a big space, you don’t want just any portable heater.  You need an industrial-sized one that can handle the job—meaning a “forced-air” heater that can spread the warmth over a large space.

Which Heater Should You Choose?

To get the most bang for your buck, choose a forced-air space heater that can be used both outdoors and indoors, suggested Jason Prom, the Industrial/Commercial Regional Sales Manager at Schaefer Ventilation.  He also recommends finding a heater that’s as quiet as possible, and that works well in dirty or dusty environments.

“For example, our forced-air heaters use a technology called SilentDrive, which is great for indoor spaces because it reduces the noise by 50%,” Prom said.  “It also comes with a totally enclosed motor and ceramic insulated spark plugs for longer lifespan in dirty environments.”

Prom also recommends finding a unit that is CSA-approved for multiple fuel sources, which makes it easier to run and maintain the same unit throughout your operations.  He added that Schaefer multi-fuel forced-air heaters are CSA-approved to use either kerosene, jet fuel, diesel, or fuel oil equally well, making it a versatile choice for almost any facility.

“These are high-quality portable heaters that really need very little maintenance,” Prom said.  “They can be used for almost any application, and keep employees much more comfortable on the job.”

Buy a forced air portable heater now

Or for more information, contact Gary Porter, Safety and Warehouse Equipment Group Director at IBT Industrial Solutions, at (913) 261-2143, or gporter@ibtinc.com.


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