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Heat stress program requirements.

Here's some information to keep you up to speed on the requirements of the heat stress program contained in OPNAVINST 5100.19D w/ch1. The information, addressing placement of hanging dry-bulb thermometers, is provided so you can ensure your DB placement is in compliance. The paragraph addressing DB temperature recording and trigger points for conducting WBGT surveys is provided because many commands are not in compliance as indicated by recent survey results.

According to paragraph B0204.b.(1), Dry-Bulb Thermometer Positioning, a hanging DB thermometer (alcohol in glass--NSN 9G-6685-00-243-9964) shall be permanently mounted at watch and workstations throughout the ship where heat-stress conditions may exist. These thermometers shall be mounted in a position so they indicate the most accurate representative temperature for the area where workers/watchstanders spend the majority of their time. They may be placed in or out of the ventilation air stream but must be hung at least 2 feet from any supply ventilation terminal/opening. The temperature being measured must be representative of the heat-stress environment workers/watchstanders experience. Thermometers shall be hung with a non-heat conducting material such as plastic or string (never hang with metal wire) and positioned to minimize the influence of any adjacent or local heat or cold sources (avoid direct contact between thermometer and hot/cold structural surfaces). Are your DB thermometers in compliance with these requirements?

In paragraph B0204.b.(3), Dry-Bulb Temperature Readings, ships are directed to record DB temperature readings when underway or when potential heat-stress conditions exist while in port. Assigned personnel shall monitor compartments as follows:

(a) Every 4 hours for manned spaces if DB temperatures do not exceed 85[degrees]F

(b) Every hour for manned spaces if DB temperatures exceed 85[degrees] F

(c) Every hour at temporary installations where the DB temperature exceeds 85[degrees] F during repair or maintenance operations.

And finally, paragraph B0204.c.(4) Space Surveys, directs ships to conduct a survey of spaces for heat stress using the WBGT meter whenever the temperature from a permanently mounted hanging DB thermometer reaches or exceeds the following temperature requirements:
PHEL I through III
Watch/Work length 4 hours or less
DB => 100[degrees]F
Watch/Work length greater than 4 hours
DB => 90[degrees]F
PHEL IV through VI
DB = 85[degrees]F.

The values listed above take into consideration likely levels of relative humidity, watch duration, and levels of activity. Under normal operations, routine watches in engineering spaces are expected to be 4 hours at a PHEL III or lower. PHEL IV through VI applies to above average work rates.

So, what does this mean to you? Under normal operating conditions, most of you will never have to conduct WBGT surveys because conditions will not reach the levels directed in the above paragraph. When you conduct drills, your DB temperatures may be high enough to require taking WBGT readings, but in most cases, the drill will be secured and air conditioning restored long before reaching any reduced stay times.

As you read through this section of the instruction, don't allow yourself to be deceived by the special "Notes" that refer to submarines only. In one such "Note" you are told: "Note - Not applicable to submarines, which have air-conditioned engineering spaces."

This note is referring to the requirement to do space surveys prior to conducting engineering casualty-control drills. It does not mean that you are exempt from the entire heat stress program because you have an air-conditioned engine room.

Another "submarines only" note states "the Medical Department Representative conducts heat-stress surveys in engineering spaces". Don't take that as an excuse to not have some personnel other than the MDR trained and qualified to conduct heat-stress surveys. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to imagine a situation where heat-stress surveys are necessary, and the MDR is not able to conduct the surveys due to a medical emergency elsewhere on the boat. Just make sure that you have a backup to the MDR for heat-stress surveys.

NOTE: To obtain a copy of the PQS for heat stress monitors, go to the following link: The heat stress monitor PQS is watchstation 303 of the Afloat Safety PQS, NAVEDTRA 43460-4B. All of your heat stress monitor personnel need to be trained and qualified using the PQS, in accordance with article B0206b of OPNAVINST 5100.19D.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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