|Before you can select the right technology for you or your workers, you must first consider several factors.
How much mobility is required on the job?
Will workers be operating machines while standing still or sitting? Or will they be fighting fires or doing heavy construction? Take a moment to consider the amount of
physical mobility required of the workers.
Keep in mind that products that are umbilically attached or provide spot cooling allow
very limited mobility.
Will workers need to wear protective gear over their cooling garments?
Not all types of cooling technologies work with all types of protective gear. For
instance, umbilical-type cooling systems aren’t appropriate for chemical suits, which
require full enclosure. Neither are evaporative cooling systems, since there’s no movement of air and humidity is high within the suits.
You’ll also need to consider how long workers will need to stay cool without
interruption, keeping in mind that passive technologies can’t be recharged without
removing the suit.
How long between breaks?
Simply put, what is the cooling duration you’ll need? Remember, passive systems must be recharged periodically. In addition, a freezer, refrigerator, ice water, or a special plug-in charger needs to be handy throughout the workday. Before selecting a technology, check how long it will provide cooling between recharges, what device is needed to
recharge, and how long a recharge takes. If extremely long continuous cooling is required,
your only options are spot coolers and umbilical types.
How hot and humid is the workplace?
The temperature range and humidity affect the duration and use of cooling technologies. In
fact, high humidity renders certain products virtually useless.
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