U.S. Department of Labor
Process: Surface Preparation and Preservation
Overexertion: Problems and Solutions
Workers inside structures assigned to paint new ship assembly units are often at increased risk of thermal stress due to heat accumulating in the upper areas of the building.
Workers painting an exterior hull may have an increased risk of thermal stress from exposure to direct sun or job site areas in which solar heat can be trapped.
Protective equipment and clothing may create further thermal stress, since body heat cannot escape.
Cooling vests are available in a range of styles. This option can help minimize heat buildup during peak activity.
Additional products, such as air-conditioned respirators, are available that cool the air entering a supplied-air respirator. Using a loose-fitting hood can help to cool the head, face, and upper torso regions. The photo at right shows a vortex cooler. Other technologies exist that can chill greater amounts of air.
Sufficient consumption of water, such as during rest cycles, is critical to avoiding thermal stress.
Rotation & Work/Rest Cycles
Frequent rotation of tasks to allow workers recovery time from high thermal stress.