What is a refrigeration workplace?
Refrigeration work does not begin at sub-zero temperatures. Cold work already starts at an air temperature of +15 °C. If a worker is exposed to this temperature in a cold store or a lower temperature for at least one hour at a time, it is called cold work. However, other climatic factors also play a role in the assessment of the respective cold workloads. For example, air humidity, air velocity, thermal radiation, exposure duration, temperature fluctuations, the type of activity and clothing insulation have an influence on the energy balance of workers in cold stores.
For what do I need protective clothing in cold stores?
Cold storage clothing is specially designed to work in cold environments for extended periods of time. In many professions, protective clothing is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Special clothing is required for temperatures as low as -49 degrees Celsius. Our certified cold protective clothing protects the wearer from temperatures of 10 °C and below. The European standard EN 342 specifies these requirements and test methods for protective clothing against cold in cold stores or other cold environments.
Which professions fall under the obligation of cold protection?
The cold in the workplace can have various causes. It can be brought on by processes, equipment or weather conditions. Icy temperatures can be indoors, such as cold storage, outdoors or even underground.
Interiors - food industry (production, storage, transport, sales)
- Meat and fish processing
- Freeze-drying rooms
- Beverage industry
Outdoor areas - depending on the time of year, the following occupational groups, for example, may be affected by the cold
- Structural and civil engineering
- Agriculture and forestry
- Oil production
- Storage and depot facilities
What health hazards are workers in cold storage exposed to?
Humans are not designed to stay unprotected in very cold environments for long periods of time. Working in cold stores puts stress on the body. Without the proper protective clothing for cold storage and the right warm-up breaks, serious health restrictions can occur.
- Recuperation from pre-existing diseases
- Disorders of the postural and musculoskeletal system
- Constricted vessels, slowed blood circulation, trembling, falling body temperature - there is a risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Frostbite of 1st to 3rd degree on feet (toes), hands (fingers), face (nose, chin, ears)
- Death of skin and tissue
- Loss of consciousness
- Cold hands and feet impair mobility/ dexterity, concentration and reaction - risk of accidents increases
- Prolonged exposure to cold can lead to chronic diseases of the musculoskeletal system (rheumatism), the urinary organs, the respiratory organs and the vascular systems