As explained by the PR Newswire, summer heat costs more than $29 Billion in AC costs annually. However, the threats from summer heat have a more significant impact on outdoor workers. Spending too much time in heat can result in heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke or heat exhaustion, as well as dehydration. In a way, commercial energy management in summer heat must focus on both indoor and outdoor risks, solutions, and steps to reduce the impact of the hot months on labor productivity and occupant experiences.
Summer Heat Is a Major Risk to Businesses
Even those in indoor areas are at higher risk during the summer months, reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Low humidity in geographic regions, wildfire dangers, sudden summer storms, and physical labor increase risk of heat-related illness to workers. A misstep by Facilities Managers in planning the maintenance work roster could result in severe workers’ compensation claims, as well as leave outdoor workers at the mercy of the elements. However, effective energy management and smart building systems can help.
Effective Energy Management in Summer Heat Reduces Risk to Employees, Guests, and Assets
Effective energy management relies on asset and zone-monitoring in a facility, including temperature, heat flows, water resources, and HVAC systems. For outdoor workers, the same devices used to track energy use can be a source of risk mitigation for summer heat, keeping managers informed of when employees take breaks. According to Facility Executive, Facilities Managers need to plan for increased risk of heat exhaustion, train employees on recognizing the signs, offer ample water, and provide shade for outdoor workers. Of course, these practices fall short if Facilities Managers fail to consider the effects of hot summer sun on the whole facility, indoors and outdoors alike, bringing the conversation back to overall smart building management.
Best Practices in Commercial Energy Management
As noted by the Federal Energy Management Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), some best practices in commercial energy in the summer include:
- Conduct regular audits.
- Monitor plumbing systems for leaks or other faults.
- Ensure appropriate signage.
- Monitor temperatures of outdoor areas.
- Use IoT-enabled devices to automate monitoring processes.
A few additional tips, as noted by ENERGY STAR, include:
- Ensure proper breaks when performing strenuous work in the direct heat.
- Upgrade fan systems.
- Using ENERGY STAR-Certified Equipment.
- Automate controls to reduce the risk of dehydration or heat-related illness.
- Understand changes in peak energy demand and impact on energy costs or assets.
Safeguard Your Assets, Including Workers, in the Heat of Summer With Commercial Energy Management
The heat of summer can do untold damage to your facility assets, not to mention put your team members at work. Make sure your facility is well-equipped to handle the needs of outdoor workers by upping your game with ENTOUCH. Contact ENTOUCH online to find out more about how you can gain immediate insight and visibility into outdoor and indoor facilities and assets crucial to surviving the hottest part of the year.