Space Heaters, Shelters and Hand Warmers

Space heaters, shelters, hand/foot warmers reduce cold stress and the risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold-related injuries.

Description:

Engineering controls, such as space heaters, shelters, hand warmers and foot warmers can reduce the risk of injuries associated with working in a cold environment. Working in cold temperatures and high winds, particularly if the skin is wet, for an extended period can result in cold-related injuries. Using engineering controls to reduce cold stress can have a positive impact on safety and productivity. Utilizing space heaters, shelters, hand warmers and foot warmers helps to lower the risk of cold-related injuries.

Engineering controls can reduce the effects of a cold environment when used properly. When selecting the type of engineering controls needed for a jobsite, the following should be considered:

  • Avoid fuel-burning heaters, commonly referred to as “salamanders” if at all possible because of potentially deadly carbon monoxide build-up, particularly in enclosed spaces. If unavoidable, use small, inexpensive personal carbon monoxide monitors or area sampling to ensure workers are not being put at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Steps to control exposure are important because the gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless.
  • Utilize electric space heaters to warm the work area while eliminating the potential for carbon monoxide exposure.
  • Cover metal handles of tools with thermal insulating materials at temperatures below 30.2°F.  Grips that can be wrapped around or molded to tool hands to reduce vibration can also reduce cold stress.
  • Reduce the cooling effect of the wind with an engineering control as simple as a shield or shelter blocking the wind.
  • Increase the frequency of rest and breaks in warming shelters isolated from environmental conditions.
  • Keep a thermometer on the job, check it hourly and take preventive measures if there are unexpected changes in temperature and weather conditions.

HotHands® Hand Warmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

  • Cost: $1.25 each (verified 1/2014)
  • Dimensions: 2 x 4 inches
  • Temperature: up to 130°F
  • Heating Time: 10 hours
  • Activation: air-activated upon opening
  • Ideal Use: inside gloves, hardhats, pockets

Toasti Toes® Foot Warmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

  • Cost: $1.50 each (verified 1/2014)
  • Dimensions: 2 x 3 inches
  • Temperature: up to 100°F
  • Heating Time: 6 hours
  • Activation: air-activated upon opening

 

Space Heaters

Avoid fuel burning heaters, commonly referred to as “salamanders” if at all possible because of potentially deadly carbon monoxide build-up, particularly in enclosed spaces. If unavoidable, use small, inexpensive personal carbon monoxide monitors or area sampling to ensure workers are not being put at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Steps to control exposure are important because the gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless.

Berko® Best Value Salamander Portable Blower Heaters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model

Cost

Heat Produced (BTU)

°F Rise

Weight

(pounds)

Power Requirements

Power Rating (kilowatts)

BDH1021CKB

$684.00

34,120

46

65

240 volts,

41.7 amps

10

BDH1521B

$729.00

51,180

46

65

240 volts,

62.5 amps

15

BDH3043B

$724.00

102,360

65

75

480 volts,

36.3 amps

30

(Verified 1/2014)

  • Electric heater that does not produce any combustion by-products
  • Portable with axle mounted wheels

TPI Heat Wave™ Portable Electric Salamander Heater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model

Cost

Air Flow Rate (cfm)

Heat Produced (BTU)

°F Rise

Weight

(pounds)

Power Requirements

Power Rating (kilowatts)

FES-1520-3A

$884.00

800

51,195

45

65

208 volts,

42 amps

15

FES-3048-3A

$1,396.00

1,100

102,390

90

83

480 volts,

36 amps

30

FES-4548-3

$2,300.00

2,200

153,585

70

125

480 volts,

54.2 amps

45

(verified 2/2014)

  • Electric heater that does not produce any combustion by-products
  • Portable with axle mounted wheels
  • Adjustable fan and thermostat

Big Productions Inflatable Shelters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


13-Foot Inflatable Shelter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


Inflatable Shelter with Custom Door
 

 

 

 

 


 


Inflatable Shelter with Custom Door
 

Model

Cost

Dimensions (Length x Width x Height)

Weight (pounds)

28-Foot Shelter

$4,225.00

28 feet x 15 feet x 9 feet

145

23-Foot Shelter

$3,925.00

23 feet x 15 feet x 9 feet

125

18-Foot Shelter

$3,625.00

18 feet x 15 feet x 9 feet

105

13-Foot Shelter

$3,100.00

13 feet x 15 feet x 9 feet

85

(Verified 1/2014)

  • Fully inflates in 60 seconds.
  • Inflated by 1 horsepower Grizzly blower
  • Power Requirements: 115 volts, 12.8 amps
  • Withstands winds up to 25 miles per hour
  • Made of fire-retardant vinyl
  • Custom door available for access to tools. The door velcros to the inside or outside of a work truck or trailer.

Risks Addressed:

Cold-related injuries are caused by working in low temperatures and high winds, particularly when the skin is wet. Outdoor workers suffer from cold-related injuries each year.

The human body’s natural reaction when exposed to cold environments is to maintain its core temperature. To do so, blood shifts away from less critical body parts including the hands, feet, arms, legs and skin to concentrate in the vital chest and abdomen regions. As a result of the blood shift, the body parts containing less blood face an increased risk of cold-related injuries such as hypothermia (a core body temperature of less than 95°F) and frostbite (frozen skin or tissue). If moisture is introduced in addition to cold temperatures, trench foot also becomes a possibility (OSHA).

“Wind chill is the temperature your body feels when air temperature and wind speed are combined. For example, when the air temperature is 40°F, and the wind speed is 35 mph, the effect on the exposed skin is as if the air temperature was 28°F” (OSHA).

Cold Stress is the result of the skin temperature being lowered, ultimately resulting in a reduced core body temperature. Serious health concerns including possible tissue damage and death may occur if the situation is severe (OSHA).

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for cold stress are based on air temperature and wind speed. The TLVs specify the minimum number of warming breaks in a four-hour shift and the maximum duration of work between warming for different air temperature and wind speed combinations. The TLVs are for workers performing moderate to heavy work in dry clothing appropriate for winter work. For example, during a four hour shift at -22°F with a wind speed of 10 miles per hour, a worker should not work longer than 55 minutes before taking a 10 minute break in a warm location. This worker should take a total of three breaks in this four-hour shift. The TLVs are presented in Table 3 of the Cold Stress section of the TLV Book and displayed below. The TLV Book goes into great detail about cold stress prevention, measurement and control. It can be purchased at: http://www.acgih.org/store/.

With permission from ACGIH®: 2013 TLVs® and BEIs® Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices. Cincinnati, Ohio: ACGIH, 2013, p. 202.

In addition to TLVs for cold stress, the ACGIH also developed a wind chill chart. Wind chill is described as the air temperature that would feel the same on exposed human flesh as the given combination of air temperature and wind speed (CCOHS, 2008). ACGIH’s wind chill chart is Table 2 in the Cold Stress section of the TLV Book and displayed below.

With Permission from ACGIH®: 2013 TLVs® and BEIs® Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices. Cincinnati, Ohio: ACGIH, 2013, p. 199.


How Risks are Reduced:

Cold stress and the risk of cold-related injury are reduced by ensuring that heating devices, shelters, and hand warmers are available and utilized. Engineering controls reduce cold stress by generating heat or providing shelter from cold, wet, windy environments. Workers should use shelters and other engineering controls as indicated by the cold stress prevention program and whenever needed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and industry and employee groups acknowledge the hazards associated with exposure to low temperatures and wind. The ability to reduce cold-related injuries by taking precautions such as wearing warm clothing, utilizing heating devices and breaks for warming up have been documented in government publications, health hazard evaluations and by the research and medical communities.

Hot Hands® hand warmers, provide temperatures of up to 130°F for a period of 10 hours, according to the manufacturer.

Toasti Toes® foot warmers provide temperatures of up to 100°F for a period of 6 hours, according to the manufacturer.

Portable electric salamander heaters can raise temperatures within enclosures up to 90°F.


Effects on Productivity:

Cold stress has been shown to reduce productivity in construction.  Engineering controls like warming tents will limit the effects of cold stress and provide greater productivity when working in a cold environment.


Additional Considerations:

Engineering controls are always superior to administrative controls, such as a cold stress prevention program, and personal protective equipment, such as gloves and clothing. Engineering solutions to consider include shelters to protect workers from environmental conditions and portable electric fan heaters to warm the work or break area. Whenever possible, shelters with electric heaters inside should be used for warm up breaks when permanent heated structures are not available. Heated vehicle cabs may also be used in place of heated shelters.


Contributors:

Taylor Kingston and Michael R. Cooper - Aria Environmental, Inc.
Bruce Lippy - CPWR


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Toasti Toes Foot Warmers
To obtain information, visit Uline or contact 1-800-295-5571 customer.service@uline.com

Berko Portable Electric Blower Heaters
To obtain information, visit Global Equipment Company, Inc. or contact 1-888-978-7759

Big Productions Inflatable Shelters
To obtain information, visit Big Productions, Inc. or contact 1-866-574-9540 sales@bigproductionsinc.com

TPI Heat Wave Portable Electric Salamander Heaters
To obtain information, visit Global Equipment Company, Inc. or contact 1-888-978-7759

HotHands Hand Warmers
To obtain information, visit Uline or contact 1-800-295-5571 customer.service@uline.com

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.