Tuesday, October 19, 2010

“Gloves with fingertips cut out”

Passed without comment:

The use of electric space heaters and all other heat creating devices is discouraged on [military installation X].  These units and devices are a safety hazard and extremely expensive to run.  Approved space heaters may be used as a temporary measure with concurrence of the Chief of Civil Engineer Operations and Maintenance Division due to improper functioning of existing heating systems.  All government owned space heaters should be turned into the Civil Engineer Logistics Branch at XXX-XXXX.

The Occupational Medicine Service (OMS) has been asked to confirm the need for a space heater for individuals on many occasions.  Sometimes there is a valid need, other times there isn't.  The procedure for space heater and other heating devices approval shall be for the individual to bring a note from his or her doctor to the OMS clinic in Building XXX to request their opinion.  If a reasonable medical need is identified (e.g. a circulatory disorder like white finger syndrome, CREST, a cold agglutinin disorder etc.) they will endorse the use of a space heater or recommend another corrective action.  In some cases, warmer clothing, gloves with fingertips cut out, etc may be adequate.  When CE receives OMS clinic endorsement, the [installation] Maintenance Engineer will provide a certificate of approval for the individual that can be shown to the Fire Department in the event of an inspection.  At the time of certificate issuance, CE will also provide a recommendation as to the type of space heater or other heating device to use and any special instructions.

3 comments:

Professor Hale said...

I had to put up with that for a long time. I also had to enforce it. One issue is not just the safety of the device itself, but the safety of several of them plugged into the same crcuit. Those things are energy hogs and most office building circuits are simply not built to take the load. Adding a personal heater to a cubicle doesn't seem that big a deal but when 15 computers, monitors and a few printers are on teh same circuit it can be a deal breaker. If the fuse doesn't blow first, the internal wiring inside cube walls can burst into flames.

Add to that the new trend of government Gaia worship. The most efficient way to heat work space is some device that is built for that purpose (central heating). Individual heaters are an order of magnitude higher operating cost that torpedo the local building manager's "green" rating.

Φ said...

I get all that. But the other side is that if fifteen people on a single circuit are bringing in space heaters, the building is TOO FRICKIN' COLD!

I also had to enforce it.

Hale = Scrooge.

Professor Hale said...

The more likely case if that the building is too cold for one person (usually a menopausal woman) and the circuit is overloaded with computers and printers and coffee makers. One more high watt appliance brings it all down.

As we speak, it is too cold in my office because the thermostat doesn't work. Once the building heat goes on, it will be too warm. I adjust to the cold by wearing a coat indoors.