Working in a cold store means exposure to extreme cold and demands high physical and mental standards. Heat losses from the body must be minimised by proper clothing. In addition, working in a low temperature environment creates special effect on the human body, which must be counteracted by a special working routine and provisions for personal welfare. As for anybody else working in the food industry, the employees must undergo regular checks and maintain the necessary level of personal hygiene required for this industry.
Cold rooms should provide as good a working environment as possible. Analysis of environmental stresses show that draughts have a great influence on comfort and must therefore be avoided. Lighting should be adequate to facilitate handling operations. Psychologically, a well lit room appears less cold than a dark room. Staff should be provided with heated rooms, where they can rest and dry their clothes if necessary. Resting periods require time and cost money hence they should be properly planned and supervised. A well spent rest, even if relatively short, restores the physical as well as the mental capacity of the worker and contributes greatly to improved physical performance. A normal work period in cold rooms is 50 min followed by a rest period of 10 min.
A warm rest room is essential. It should be strategically located to enable easy access during rest periods and at the same time provide proper supervision. There should be a free issue of hot beverage, coffee, tea, chocolate and also of cold non-alcoholic drinks. Smoking should be prohibited. Furniture should be comfortable, robust and easy to clean. Floor and walls should also be easy to clean. The room should be maintained at a temperature between 20C-27C and be well ventilated.