Abstract Book, U.S. Department of the Interior Conference on the Environment and Safety, April 24-28, 1995. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1995 Apr; :20
This paper discusses the nature of heat stress and the heat balance equation, the physical and mental effects of heat stress, and types of encapsulating protective equipment, then reviews the physical methods that have been employed to reduce the heat stress associated with the use of encapsulating protective equipment. These methods include forced-air cooling, ice vests, circulating water systems, and fluid replacement. None of the four systems discussed is perfect for all situations. Engineers and management, in conjunction with 1abor representatives, need to look at the type of work done using an encapsu1ating suit and make appropriate recommendations based on the task variables. Work rules, in combination with these systems, may be the most efficient way of dealing with the heat stress. Employees of an asbestos removal company are restricted to four hours per day in the containment suit; the workers alternate one hour in and one hour out of the suit. In this sort of situation, an ice vest in combination with fluid replacement may be an adequate solution. In situations where the work done is light intensity or of short duration, such as monitoring or inspecting some process, an ice vest may be adequate. In tasks that require very little wholebody movement, a forced-air system may be used.