New technology improves protection for hot-environment workers

March 18, 2024

Portabull Cold Storage announces purpose-built cooler rooms, designed to help workers in hot environments cool off comfortably and safely.

Portabull Cold Storage, leading provider of portable electric cold storage containers, is now offering the industry’s first purpose-built cool-down rooms designed for keeping people safe. Custom-created to provide relief from extreme heat, these 40-foot-long enclosures feature windows, fold-down benches, easy-access doors, and simple push-button controls. They are powered by the same efficient electric systems found in Portabull’s cold storage units, thus fulfilling Portabull’s goal of making it easier and less costly for employers to protect their people.

“Today, employees in high-heat conditions only have access to makeshift or inadequate cooling solutions,” says John Herman, president of Portabull. “Athletic teams and construction workers struggle along with open-air cooling tents, while heavy manufacturing employees might be forced to use subpar misters. Even oilfield workers, who are especially vulnerable to increasingly high temperatures, often only have access to ‘cool down’ trailers that are exposed to the elements.”

“Portabull’s enclosed cooler rooms are built differently,” Mr. Herman continues. “Not only are they safer for employees, but they are more durable and more simple for employers to use.”

High heat is a potent jobsite danger. Consumer interest group Public Citizen reports up to 2,000 annual workplace fatalities may stem from heat, with a further 170,000 heat-related injuries. While OSHA has yet to codify specific heat-related workplace standards, their heat stress Emergency Preparedness Guide does recommend the use of shelters and recovery areas, a need directly addressed by Portabull’s cooler rooms.

The growing threat of heat adds impetus to Portabull’s new solution. “This is ultimately an issue of human safety and quality of life,” says Mr. Herman. “Protecting people ought to be easy, not complex and expensive.”

Portabull’s cooler rooms are self-contained, portable units that can be delivered to any high-heat jobsite or work environment. Featuring Carrier© electric cooling motors, the rooms provide stable temperatures (between 50F and 80F) and have separate entry and exit doors to minimize the escape of cool air. Unlike cooling tents and misters, Portabull’s new cooler rooms completely isolate those inside from the heat outside, allowing workers to cool down more quickly and thoroughly.

One early adopter of Portabull’s cooler rooms is Rockport Terminals. A logistics port in South Texas, Rockport knows staggering heat and humidity. Their CEO, Ross Stevenson, identified cool-down rooms as an investment ensuring both employee wellbeing and productivity. “Portabull’s cooler room solution is superior to other alternatives,” he says. “It has been critical to the success and safety of our workforce at the terminal.”

For Mr. Herman, the logic is simple: “Every organization is only as healthy as the people within,” he says. “If employees regularly work in hot conditions, keeping them cool is a huge part of keeping them healthy. Portabull cooler rooms provide a straightforward and effective protective solution that not only improves life for employees, but also strengthens employers.”

ABOUT PORTABULL COLD STORAGE: Portabull Cold Storage makes temporary on-site cold storage simpler and more affordable for businesses across the United States. By including delivery and pickup logistics, as well as 24/7 access to expert support, Portabull provides a single-source cold storage solution for grocers, restaurants, breweries, florists, fisheries, pharmaceutical firms, manufacturers, and businesses in dozens of other industries.

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