How Big Ass Fans can help boost productivity
People, power and productivity
If you’re running a warehouse, you know that people are a valuable resource.
Even with automation in place, people are needed to keep things moving, and with low rates of unemployment and a growing need for reliable people, the businesses who prioritise their people’s safety and comfort, are the ones that will reap the biggest productivity gains.
Lower paid positions are becoming harder to fill, and we need our people working harder and smarter, while also feeling confident about their safety at work.
We know there’s a correlation between good working conditions and labour retention. Put simply, if we can provide a good working environment for our teams, they’re more likely to be productive and stay in the job.
Obviously overheating and heat stress are major workplace safety concerns, but a study by Helsinki University of Technology in Finland found that even at temperatures of 25°Celsius, worker performance starts to decrease.
- Productivity losses vary by climate zone, with warmer zones seeing larger losses, but on average, annual productivity losses decreased by 17% with the addition of elevated air speed (at 160 fpm (0.81 m/s). So fans can impact productivity.
- For every additional 1°Celsius increase in temperature, you’ll lose another 2% in performance.
- Anything above 32°Celsius and heat-related illness risk increases and safety concerns increase, and heat stress becomes a very real risk.
Understanding heat stress
Strenuous activity that increases your metabolic rate will increase the amount of heat your body produces. If you’re undertaking this activity in a hot environment, your body is less able to reject heat into its surrounds, and we can overheat.
Heat stress is the build-up of heat in our bodies to unhealthy levels, and in severe cases, it can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
A bit of heat when you’re at the beach or relaxing in a sauna is ok — you’re generally pretty stationary at those times. However, working in excessively hot temperatures can be extremely dangerous.
In the 10 years to 2019, there were 1,774 workers compensation claims resulting from working in heat, and 441 of these were claims regarding heat stroke or heat stress.
As building operators and owners, we have an obligation to create a safe, comfortable indoor environment, especially in warehouses where thermal comfort is key to keeping workers safe and healthy.
If you’re expecting high levels of activity in a hot warehouse, you’re setting up a potential heat stress risk that could result in low productivity, illness and even litigation. High temperatures will also mean unions expect an increase in breaks for workers, so the higher the temperature in your warehouse, the longer the downtime.
How fans can help
The human body is constantly working to maintain its ideal temperature of around 36°Celsius, and sweating is one of the most effective ways we have of doing this.
As temperatures increase, the balance is harder to maintain, and when air becomes humid, it’s more difficult to regulate our temperature through evaporation of sweat from our skin. Fans help with this by creating airflow that evaporates perspiration from our skin, carrying away heat.
The airflow also reduces the thickness of the hot, humid layer of air that builds up around our bodies, which improves heat dissipation. In short, fans make our natural cooling mechanisms more efficient.
So air movement reduces the likelihood of heat-related illnesses and accidents by making employees feel cooler and more comfortable.
For example, in a warehouse with a temperature of 29.4 degrees, productivity decreases by 8.8%, however, with air movement from fans the warehouse temperature will feel like it’s 25 degrees, improving comfort and productivity.
Large fans are more efficient than small fans — a 2 metre to 7 metre high-volume-low-speed (HVLS) fan can easily outperform 20 to 50 traditional fans in terms of coverage area.
Large ceiling mounted or wall mounted fans can have a huge impact on cooling warehouse workers, and directional and mobile fans can also combat busy warehouses where you might be dealing with racks and obstacles.
An investment in large, directional fans for your warehouse, can be an investment in future-proofing your facility against unpredictable weather patterns, and lead to better employee retention through improving worker comfort and conditions.
At Big Ass Fans, we’re focused on tailoring solutions, using fans to make the most of your existing space and to improve the safety, productivity and job satisfaction of your workers.
We know fans are an ideal solution for warehouses.
While air-conditioning can cost multiple six figures and up just to install (plus potentially tens of thousands per month to run), ceiling fans cost a fraction of that.
The best ceiling fans — the ones worth your investment — come with features and benefits that outperform cheaper brands.
At Big Ass Fans we provide:
- Lengthy warranties of up to 15 years
- Annual maintenance
- Industrial-grade parts
- Seamless integration with existing HVAC, fire, and security systems
It’s about getting the most from your investment, and providing a solution which is long-lasting, energy-efficient and economical.
We know our large fans work, which is why they’re trusted by companies including Australia Post, FedEx, Hastings Deering and Toyota to cool their warehouse spaces. Talk to us about finding a solution to keep your workers happy and productive, and get your warehouse working at its best.
Book a site visit with Big Ass Fans! OH! And did we tell you — we bring our own Big Ass Beer!
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