The standard ASHRAE 55 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy is used in all sorts of environments. The standard specifically states, “The purpose of this standard is to specify the combinations of indoor thermal environmental factors and personal factors that will produce thermal environmental conditions acceptable to a majority of the occupants within the space.” The thermal environment conditions are created with the intention of serving adults working in spaces for more than fifteen minutes. It is also worth noting that this standard only takes into account altitudes of up to 10,000 ft.
The specific environmental factors that are covered in ASHRAE 55 are:
- Thermal radiation
- Air speed
As for the personal factors, those include the activity being performed as well as the required clothing. For an example, if the room that is being worked in is for refrigerating product and the workers are wearing warm clothing, then environmental factors must be taken into account to be able to provide the maximum amount of energy efficiency as well as comfort for those who are in the area.
This standard is not meant to override other safety and health requirements put forth by other standard setting organizations. It also should not interfere with critical process requirements in the industrial setting. Overall, ASHRAE 55 has some important guidelines to follow to not only stay safe, but also to stay compliant with ANSI standards since the standard is endorsed by that organization.