As regions of the US are experiencing unprecedented heatwaves it is important for companies to ensure their workers are taking precautions. Outfitting workers with cooling products is one way to help them beat the heat. The technology may seem complex, but it can save lives.
Dangers of Heat
Every year, thousands of workers experience preventable illnesses due to heat exposure. The human body gets rid of heat in a process called dissipation to help maintain a healthy body temperature. This process happens naturally, mostly through sweating. When dissipation does not happen quickly enough, the internal temperature will continue to rise increasing the risk of dehydration, cramping, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
Overexposure to heat can lead to damage of the brain and other vital organs as well as death. 700 people die from extreme heat every year. Thankfully, heat exhaustion and stroke are easily prevented by taking proper precautions like the use of cooling products. There are several types available by Pyramex including moisture-wicking and evaporative materials.
Moisture Wicking technology is used in cooling products and a variety of workwear designed for those who work outdoors or in hot environments. This technology depends on two properties for performance: capillary action and permeability. Capillary action is the movement of sweat (or any liquid) through tiny holes in the fabric caused by molecular forces between the sweat and fabric. Permeability is the ability of the sweat to transfer through the fabric itself. These two forces move moisture away from the skin allowing for the transfer of sweat that it then quickly dries.
Pyramex offers a variety of moisture-wicking cooling products including multi-purpose bands, towels, skull caps, and arm sleeves.
Much of Pyramex evaporative workwear features PVA material. PVA, or polyvinyl alcohol, absorbs sweat and water. PVA material soaks in the water which when applied to the body allows workers to quickly cool down their core temps. To activate, soak in cool water and ring out excess. These products are dry to the touch while retaining moisture that keeps workers cool. The Pyramex line of PVA cooling products includes towels, neck wraps, hard hat pads, and vests.
Polymer crystal beads are another material that can help workers cool down. Found in our cooling bandanas, these beads activate similarly to PVA. The bandana is soaked in water and then the beads are kneaded and spread to create a cooling sensation. Both evaporative workwear solutions can be reused and last for hours during a single activation.
Moisture-wicking and evaporative workwear aren’t the only PPE that can help keep workers cool. Hats, hat shades, and highly reflective clothing can also protect from heat. Beyond cooling products, workers should follow the guidelines below to prevent overexposure to heat.