Across the country working conditions are heating up. With record breaking heat waves, longer warm seasons, and limited resources to prevent heat exposure, workers are dealing with the serious consequences of heat hazards in the work place. According to Food Engineering Mag, the US Department of Labor issued a release stating that “record-breaking heat in the U.S. in 2021 endangered millions of workers exposed to heat illness and injury in both indoor and outdoor work environments.” Additionally, “OSHA does not have a specific standard for hazardous heat conditions,” which means it’s difficult to regulate safe working environments.
For workers in food manufacturing, exposure to heat is a frequent cause of illness and injury. In order to minimize heat hazards and ensure employee safety, more companies are adopting automated manufacturing solutions to prevent prolonged exposure to high temperatures. With food automation technology, the future of manufacturing can be safer for everyone.
What are Common Heat Hazards in the Food Industry?
Workers in the food industry are constantly exposed to various heat sources. Whether employees are working at a manufacturing site or in a kitchen, heat sources are a crucial part of food production across the board.
Common heat hazards include:
- Working closely with radiant heat sources like heavy machinery. Over time, heat exposure can lead to exhaustion and other complications.
- Performing repetitive, physically demanding tasks. Workers who exert a high amount of physical energy in their role are more likely to develop heat-related symptoms.
- Working with ovens and stoves either in a manufacturing setting or in a kitchen.
- Prolonged exposure to steam-heat sources like vacuums or dishwashers.
What are the Symptoms of Heat Exposure?
There’s no doubt that worker safety needs to be a top priority for companies who use hazardous equipment in their manufacturing process. While some hazards like sharp blades or open flames might be more obvious risks to health and safety, the effects of long-term heat exposure are just as dangerous.
Heat exposure manifests in a variety of ways. Some of the most common symptoms include: fatigue, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and increased heart rate. If left untreated heat exposure can lead to more serious conditions like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke might result in a loss of consciousness, organ damage, and may be fatal.
How Automation Reduces Exposure to Heat Hazards
Automated manufacturing solutions are one of the best ways to improve worker safety and eliminate dangerous working conditions.
Update Equipment – One of the simplest ways to reduce heat exposure is by updating existing manufacturing equipment. Old machines may be less energy efficient, lose more heat due to poor insulation or design, or have faulty cooling systems. Installing new, automated machinery ensures that your employees are working alongside machines that are built with the latest heat-reduction technology. Machinery should run smoothly, self-regulate temperature, and have built-in systems to minimize the risk of overheating.
Catch Malfunctions – Most automated machinery has built-in quality control systems that ensure everything is in proper working condition. This technology enables automated machinery to anticipate and catch malfunctions right away, which prevents equipment from overheating or releasing dangerous levels of steam.
Lessen Physical Demands – Adopting automated machinery into your manufacturing process lessens the physical demands placed on workers. Instead of an employee taking on heavy lifting, rapid motions, or high-intensity tasks, you can allocate those responsibilities to an automated system. Automated machinery is a perfect solution for jobs that are physically demanding and repetitive since automated technology never tires, makes mistakes, and always produces high-quality results. Plus, by lessening workers’ physical demands, you allow workers to focus on other tasks that utilize their skills to a higher degree.
Update Cooling Systems – Automated technology allows you to update the cooling systems in your manufacturing facility. With advances in automation, you can ensure facility temperatures never rise above a certain threshold and proper cooling measures are in place to combat unexpected heat waves. Additionally, you can provide excess cooling systems like fans and vents to minimize heat exposure during the hot months of the year.
Updating Your Facility with Custom Cut Metals
At Custom Cut Metals we provide our clients with high-quality manufacturing equipment custom-made to fit your facility. Our machinery uses cutting-edge technology to ensure that we provide efficient, reliable solutions to all your manufacturing needs. At Custom Cut Metals, our professionalism and attention to detail sets us apart, and we have been providing manufacturing solutions to satisfied customers since 2008.
Looking to update your facility? Contact us today to increase your productivity and invest in the future of your manufacturing business.