From steel workers to workers in milk processing facilities, people work in hot and sometimes also humid environments. This exposes them to avoidable hazards to their health and safety.
Heat stress occurs when the heat inside a body is too excessive to handle without physiological harm. When the body is unable to regulate its internal temperature fast enough by sweating at an adequate rate, it can no longer keep the balance between the heat produced by metabolic processes during physical activity and the heat absorbed from the environment. This can result in the body’s inability to function normally and lead to a range of adverse health effects including:
- Heat rash and cramps (>37°C) where labor productivity is reduced, and alertness and metal capacity are affected.
- Heat exhaustion (38°C) where physical and cognitive functions are impaired.
- And heatstroke (>39°C) where organs can be damaged and, ultimately, lead to death.
Some individuals and groups of workers are more vulnerable to heat than others and can suffer the effects of heat stress at lower temperatures. In that sense, heat stress monitoring devices to monitor workers’ physiological conditions in real time need to be promoted and used in environments where conditions are strenuous so that prevention and response can be adjusted for health and safety.
“World economic losses due to heat stress at work are estimated at US$2,400 billion in 2030.” — International Labor Organization.
The Need for a heat stress monitor at work
In hot environments, the frequency of accidents is higher than in more moderate environmental conditions. In many cases, the management of heat stress is less than optimal, often relying on measures such as “buddy systems,” where two or more workers are stationed together in a particular hot location and each worker observes the other for any signs related to heat stress.
Such systems are usually not sufficient to prevent heat stress. Instead, a cost-effective, automated, non-invasive and reliable solution that:
- Monitors the temperature of each worker in real time from a single dashboard to protect their health without unnecessarily compromising productivity.
- Sends early warnings of heat stress to designated individuals.
- Can quantify the degree of heat stress posed by the thermal working environment.
- Supports an effective heat management strategy.
The Technology: ARMOR Heat Stress Monitor
ARMOR is a cost-effective, automated, non-invasive and reliable solution for monitoring heat stress. ARMOR consists of three parts:
- The heart rate monitor.
- The wearable IoT gateway.
- And the visualization application.
ARMOR collects, integrates and analyzes sensor data to report the physiological conditions of individuals in real time. Through a standard low-energy wireless connectivity sensor, the heart rate is measured and with the patented ECTemp algorithm data is processed to accurately estimate the core body temperature. The system provides immediate feedback and warning signals via the monitor display.
In addition to heart rate and core temperature, the heat stress monitor can measure other parameters such as respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, location, activity, orientation, dysfunction in posture and falls to protect workers from a broad range of injuries.
By choosing ARMOR as your heat stress monitoring solution, you get:
- An automated and cost-effective solution to remotely monitor the core body temperature and physiological state of each worker in the workforce.
- A comfortable, non-invasive and reliable method to quantify the degree of heat stress in real time.
- A user-friendly application that identifies the risks to the individual, sends alerts and provides actionable recommendations for an effective heat management strategy.
- A simple and convenient system to protect workers in hot environments.
- An integrated company policy to prevent health damage due to heat stress.
For more information
If you are curious about the solution that will allow you to identify heat-related stress and illness in the workplace to protect your employees from a preventable tragedy: