Cold rooms are an essential element in many workplaces, including food production and preparation facilities and laboratories. Without them, this kind of business could not function.
However, they can present a risk to the people who have to work in them. It is important to give the health and safety of workers maximum priority at all times when they are working in cold rooms. This requires a thorough assessment of risk.
Here are some things that you will need to bear in mind when conducting a cold room risk assessment.
Potential hazards when working in a coldroom
Employees who are working in low temperatures in cold rooms can get frostbite. This is caused by ice crystals forming on skin and causing damage to blood vessels and other delicate structures. Another concern is frostnip, which is the formation of crystals on the outer skin layer.
Some workers can get chilblains, which is a problem with circulation in the feet or hands. A more serious condition is hypothermia, which occurs when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees F.
Preventing health issues in cold rooms
According to the Health and Safety Executive, when employees are required to work at low temperatures, it may be necessary for employers to provide appropriate personal protective clothing. They may also have safe systems of work in place that limit an employee’s exposure to cold.
When you require your employees to work in Commercial Cold Rooms such as those provided by https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms, there are measures that you can take to keep your employees safe.
You should start by setting up a system that records the temperature in the cold room every four hours and at least once in every shift. Then, you can schedule the greatest workload for the warmer parts of the day.
It may be possible to use warm plates, radiant heaters or air jets to produce localised pockets of warmer temperatures where the employees are working.
It might also be possible to design an air distribution system that cuts down on wind chill and creates a more pleasant working environment.
At least three layers of clothing need to be provided for adequate insulation. First, there should be a synthetic material next to the skin, then a wool material to trap air and a waterproof outer layer.a