What Does Temperature and Humidity Mean?
Temperature is the measure of warmth or coldness in reference to a set standard, often expressed in terms of degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor, or moisture, in the air. Within the context of workplace health and safety, maintaining suitable temperature and humidity levels is necessary in order to sustain employee health, comfort, and productivity.
WorkplaceTesting Explains Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity in the workplace are primarily issues of employee comfort except in cases where hazardous materials may be sensitive to either.
Individual needs and preferences may vary, so it is important that an employer takes employees desires into consideration when setting and maintaining these aspects of the workplace environment. In some instances, poor temperature and humidity levels can have an adverse effect on employee health. High or low humidity levels can lead to skin or respiratory conditions. Employees who are physically uncomfortable due to high or low temperatures may have difficulty concentrating or maintaining productivity. Temperature and humidity can affect the air quality within a workspace as well. Ideally, the temperature in a workplace will achieve thermal comfort for most employees by providing heating or cooling within a set temperature range. Humidity should be maintained in a range from 40 to 70 percent to avoid dry or oversaturated conditions.
In the instance of the presence of materials that are sensitive to temperature and humidity, it may be necissary to provide tools (such as respirators, coats, or other specialty clothing) to employees so that they can maintain resonable comfort when temperature and humidity must be maintained outside the norms of human preference for the purposes of safety.