Heat and cold - 949 entries found
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Ando H., Noguchi R., Ishitake T.
Frequency dependence of hand-arm vibration on palmar sweating response
In this study on the effects of hand-arm vibration frequency on palmar sweating, sweating was measured on the right palm of six healthy men, before and during exposure of the left palm to various vibration frequencies during three minutes. The control condition consisted of grasping a handle without vibration. As an indicator of the state of activation of the central nervous system, plasma 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) was measured before and immediately after each vibration exposure. Each vibration condition induced a palmar sweating response. Among the six vibration conditions, frequencies of 125Hz and 63Hz caused large palmar sweating responses compared with those of 315Hz and the control condition. Plasma MHPG did not increase significantly after either kind of vibration exposure.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Oct. 2002, Vol.28, No.5, p.324-327. Illus. 13 ref.
Working under extreme heat conditions
Travailler dans une chaleur extrême [in French]
This study of heat stress during the maintenance and repair of glass furnaces was carried out after several workers of a glass products manufacturer presented physical disorders (headaches and muscle cramps) following long and repetitive work at the furnaces. Internal heat load during work was determined by measuring pulse rate, body-core temperature and weight loss. External load was determined by measuring WGBT values and noiseand lighting levels. Results indicate that cardiac load limits were clearly exceeded (CLV>100%). Water losses were close to the limit values specified by the WHO, namely 5L per daily period of work. WBGT values ranged between 38.1 and 49.1°C (the legal limit value is 25°C). During certain tasks using pneumatic picks, noise values between 98 and 101db(A) were recorded. In certain cases, the lighting level was below the required minimum of 100lux. Furthermore, certain postures adopted by workers increase the risk of overload of the back and upper extremities. Several recommendations are made based on these findings.
Travail et bien-être, Dec. 2002, Vol.5, No.5, p.11-14. Illus.
Brake R., Bates G.
A valid method for comparing rational and empirical heat stress indices
No single heat stress index has gained universal acceptance within the past 20 years, despite extensive research. It is currently difficult to directly and quantitatively compare the many rational and empirical indices that are available, which results in confusion and a reluctance to change to a different index. A method is developed using the concept of limiting metabolic rate, which allows virtually all heat stress indices to be compared. Because all occupational heat stress indices are based, explicitly or implicitly, on the human heat balance equation, a unique value of metabolic rate can be found that just allows an unrestricted work/rest cycle in particular environmental conditions. A comparison using this methodology shows that there are very large differences between the recommended limits under the various indices, even for similar populations of acclimatized workers.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Mar. 2002, Vol.46, No.2, p.165-174. Illus. 26 ref.
Malchaire J., Geng Q., Den Hartog E., Havenith G., Holmer I., Piette A., Powell S.L., Rintamäki H., Rissanen S.
Temperature limit values for gripping cold surfaces
At the request of the European Commission and in the framework of the European Machinery Directive, research was conducted jointly in five different laboratories to develop specifications for surface temperature limit values for the gripping and handling of cold items. A total of 414 experiments were run where male and female subjects were invited to grip for up to 20min cold bars of different contact coefficients, i.e. polished wood, nylon, stone, steel and aluminium. The air temperature and the bars' initial surface temperatures ranged between 0 and -30°C. The data were used to develop a prediction formula and a graph of the surface temperature limit values in order for the skin contact temperature not to reach <15°C. This duration is shown to offer a significant degree of safety. Experiments and modelling must be pursued to extend these data to other conditions of exposure.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Mar. 2002, Vol.46, No.2, p.157-163. Illus. 14 ref.
Clapp A.J., Bishop P.A., Smith J.F., Lloyd L.K., Wright K.E.
A review of fluid replacement for workers in hot jobs
Prolonged work in hot environments leads to progressive water and electrolyte loss from the body. The rate of sweating varies among individuals and depends on the environmental conditions, but with protective clothing and in very hot environments, rates can reach 2.25L/h. Because hypohydration will impair physical performance and increases the risk of heat injury, consumption of fluids is necessary to prevent dehydration. Much of the research on rehydration has been conducted in sports settings. This review interprets the existing research literature on hydration to provide industrial hygienists and safety professionals with scientific bases for making recommendations regarding beverage availability and hydration practices. Although water fountains are very common, some previous research has reported that drinks containing low to moderate levels of electrolytes and carbohydrates may provide some significant advantages in industrial situations.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Mar.-Apr. 2002, Vol.63, No.2, p.190-198. 95 ref.
Koscheyev V.S., Coca A., Leon G.R., Dancisak M.J.
Individual thermal profiles as a basis for comfort improvement in space and other environments
Thermoregulation is of considerable importance for humans in space and other extreme environments. A methodology is presented for evaluating heat flux from specific body zones, and for assessing individual differences in the efficiency of heat exchange from these body areas. The goal is to apply this information to the design of individualized protective equipment. A multi-compartment conductive plastic tubing liquid cooling and warming garment was developed. Inlet water temperatures of 8-45°C were imposed sequentially to specific body areas while the remainder of the garment was maintained at 33°C. The greatest amount of heat was exchanged by the thighs, torso, calves and forearms. Calculation of heat transfer rates standardized per unit tube length and flow rate instead of surface area covered showed that there was significantly greater heat transfer in the head, hands and feet. There was considerable subject variability in rates of heat transfer in the torso, thighs, shoulders, and calves and forearms.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2002, Vol.73, No.12, p.1195-1202. Illus. 31 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Workroom temperatures in places where food is handled
There is a potential conflict in the food industry between the maximum permissible temperatures during food processing, packaging, storage and transport on one hand, and the minimum temperatures necessary for employee comfort and health. This information sheet explains how the requirements of both food hygiene laws and occupational safety and health laws can be achieved with respect to workroom temperatures. Safety and health requirements can be met by: maintaining a reasonable temperature (at least 16°C) and chilling the food locally; providing a warm workstation within a room where the overall temperature may be lower; or keeping the individual warm by means of suitable clothing, heated rest facilities or minimizing length of time of exposure to uncomfortable temperatures. Replaces CIS 95-1114.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, Jan. 2002. 4p. 6 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/fis03.pdf [in English]
Values based on experience for the duration of workbreaks during work in hot workplaces
Erfahrungswerte für Hitzepausen [in German]
In Germany, there are no directives concerning the duration of workbreaks during short periods of work in hot workplaces, for example for carrying out repairs. Since it is impossible to define theoretical values for the duration, durations applied in practice in hot workplaces were collected and evaluated. Three levels of thermal constraints can be defined for dry climates: for temperatures below 36°C, normal workbreak durations are sufficient; between 36° and 45°, a break of approximately 30min should be made after each hour of work; for temperatures above 45°, breaks of approximately 20min should be made after each 20min period of work, approximately. These results will be taken into account when preparing the directives on workbreaks during work in hot workplaces.
Ergo-Med, Nov.-Dec. 2002, Vol.26, No.6, p.158-161. Illus. 6 ref.
Giusti F., Mantovani L., Martella A., Seidenari S.
Hand dermatitis as an unsuspected presentation of textile dye contact sensitivity
From 1996 to 2000, 130 patients with hand dermatitis reacting to one of the seven dyes included in the standard series were identified. In 82 subjects, dermatitis was localized in the hands alone, whereas the other 48 patients had lesions both on the hands and on other skin sites. Disperse Blue and Disperse Orange were the most common sensitizers. Among the 13 subjects allergic to disperse dyes alone, there were three cases of occupational allergic contact dermatitis, one child with atopic dermatitis worsening after the use of synthetic fibre garments, four subjects affected by clothing dermatitis, and five individuals occupationally exposed to irritants with a dermatitis involving the hands alone. In the latter, the hands may represent a locus minoris resistentiae, and both induction and elicitation of contact sensitization could be caused by impaired barrier function at a skin site repeatedly exposed to sensitizing garments.
Contact Dermatitis, Aug. 2002, Vol.47, No.2, p.91-95. Illus. 16 ref.
Mehnert P., Bröde P., Griefahn B.
Gender-related difference in sweat loss and its impact on exposure limits to heat stress
The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of the predicted heat strain (PHS) model with respect to sex, particularly in relation to the estimation of admissible exposure durations for work in hot environments. Two experiments were conducted, examining the effects of the climatic conditions inside vehicles, involving 96 female and 114 male subjects exposed for two hours to a typical summer climate. Highly significant sex-related differences were found for the observed sweat rates, even after adjustment for anthropometric variables. It is suggested that the limit values in the PHS model be revised, with lower values of the maximum sweat rate for women.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, June 2002, Vol.29, No.6, p.343-351. Illus. 44 ref.
Niemelä R., Rautio S., Hannula M., Reijula K.
Work environment effects on labor productivity: An intervention study in a storage building
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between productivity and the work environment before and after the renovation of a storage facility. The thermal environment, concentrations of dust and chemicals (organic solvents, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides), noise levels, lighting and labour productivity were determined before and after the renovation. As a result of the renovation, thermal conditions, air quality and lighting conditions improved notably. In addition, the employees' subjective evaluations showed a significant decrease in dissatisfaction ratings. Direct measures of labour productivity increased by about 9%. It is concluded that increased productivity is most likely related to the combined effect of the improved work environment, namely better thermal climate, reduced contaminant concentrations and better lighting conditions.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2002, Vol.42, No.4, p.328-335. Illus. 16 ref.
General strategy for the management of occupational hazards - Example of workplace thermal environments
Stratégie générale de gestion des risques professionnels - Illustration dans le cas des ambiances thermiques au travail [in French]
This article describes a four-level prevention approach adapted to workplace situations in both small and large enterprises that enables the coordination of collaboration among employees, managers, occupational physicians and safety specialists, resulting in more effective preventive action that is quicker and cheaper to implement. After an overview of the terminology, the article describes the four levels: "screening", where the risk factors are detected and straightforward solutions are applied; "observation", where the study of remaining problems is broadened in scope and where the causes and solutions are discussed in greater detail; "analysis", where the company calls in a prevention specialist whenever necessary to carry out measurements and develop particular solutions; finally, "appraisal", in the rare cases when an expert is essential for studying and solving specific problems. An example of the application of this approach to workplace thermal environments is presented in an appendix. See also CIS 02-1673, where the same approach has been applied to the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 1st Quarter 2002, No.186, p.39-46. Illus. 14 ref.
Moschandreas D.J., Chu P.
Occupant perception of indoor air and comfort in four hospitality environments
This article reports on a survey of customer and staff perceptions of indoor air quality at two restaurants, a billiard hall and a casino. The survey was conducted at each environment for eight days: two weekend days on two consecutive weekends and four weekdays. Occupant perception of environmental, comfort and physical variables was measured using a questionnaire. Significant differences of occupant environment perception were identified among customers and staff. The acceptability of the environment was found to be affected by temperature, occupant density, occupant smoking status, odour perception, health conditions, sensitivity to chemicals and enjoyment of activities.
AIHA Journal, Jan.-Feb. 2002, Vol.63, No.1, p.47-54. Illus. 15 ref.
Bethea D., Parsons K.
Health and Safety Executive
The development of a practical heat stress assessment methodology for use in UK industry
In this study on heat stress, experiments were conducted to compare ISO 7933 Required Sweat Rate (SWreq) and Predicted Heat Strain model (PHS) predictions with observed physiological data. Comparisons were made between the predicted and observed sweat rates and the time it took core temperature to reach 38°C (Duration Limit Exposures, DLE). The results showed that the SWreq was not a valid predictor of DLE, and did not predict sweat rate for persons wearing protective clothing in warm humid environments. The PHS DLE predictions were more representative of the ISO predictions that the observed DLEs, and also significantly underestimated the observed sweat rates. An evaluation of the usability of ISO 7933 was also performed. It is concluded that there is a real need for a more practical heat stress assessment method.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2002. xii, 200p. Illus. 114 ref. Price: GBP 25.00.
Cadarette B.S., Levine L., Kolka M.A., Proulx G.N., Correa M.M., Sawka M.N.
Heat strain reduction by ice-based and vapor compression liquid cooling systems with a toxic agent protective uniform
The purpose of this study was to compare a vapour compression microclimate cooling system (MCC) and a personal ice cooling system (PIC) for their effectiveness in reducing physiological strain when used with cooling garments worn under the impermeable self-contained toxic environment protective outfit (STEPO). A second comparison was done between the use of total body and hooded shirt-only cooling garments with both the MCC and PIC systems. Eight subjects (six men, two women) attempted four experiments at 38°C, 30% rh, 0.9m/sec wind, while wearing the STEPO. Subjects attempted four hours of treadmill walking (rest/exercise cycles of 10/20min) at a time-weighted metabolic rate of 303±50W. It was found that the total body circulating liquid cooling was more effective than shirt-only cooling under the impermeable STEPO uniform. The MCC and PIC systems were equally effective during heat exposure, but neither system could allow reaching the four-hour targeted time.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, July 2002, Vol.73, No.7, p.665-672. Illus. 13 ref.
Bates G., Miller V.
Empirical validation of a new heat stress index
Thermal stress is a well-recognized health hazard in the workplace. In addition to health effects, working in very hot environments can have significantly negative effects on the productivity of some industries. Defining what constitutes a safe level of thermal stress in hot working environments has been a long-standing dilemma in occupational hygiene. The current indices used to evaluate the environment are either not adequate or difficult to implement. This article describes a new heat stress index, the thermal work limit, which incorporates all needed inputs, and generates a single figure specifying a maximum work limit. Initial validation of the index demonstrates it to be simple to use, less prone to interpretive error, reliable and far superior to currently recommended indices as an indicator of thermal stress.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Apr. 2002, Vol.18, No.2, p.145-153. Illus. 7 ref.
Brake D.J., Bates G.P.
Deep body core temperatures in industrial workers under thermal stress
A programme to continuously measure body core temperatures in 36 workers working in a hot underground mine was conducted. Miniaturized radio-transponders taken orally were used to measure temperature during the transit time in the gastrointestinal tract. Commonly recommended limits for industrial hyperthermia are 38.0°C or an increase of 1°C. The results showed that miners regularly exceeded these limits in terms of maximum deep body core temperature (average, 38.3 °C; standard deviation, 0.4°C), maximum temperature rise (1.4°C, 0.4°C), and maximum heat storage (431 kJ, 163 kJ) without reporting any symptoms of heat illness. A significant component of the observed elevated core temperatures was attributable to the normal circadian rhythm, which was measured at 0.9°C (standard deviation, 0.2°C). Evidence was found that workers "self pace" when under thermal stress.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2002, Vol.44, No.2, p.125-135. Illus. 53 ref.
Malchaire J., Piette A, Kampmann B., Mehnert P., Gebhardt H., Havenith G., Den Hartog E., Holmer I., Parsons K., Alfano G., Griefahn B.
Development and validation of the predicted heat strain model
Eight laboratories participated in a concerted research project on the assessment of hot working conditions. The objectives were to co-ordinate the work of the main European research teams in the field of thermal factors and to improve the methods available to assess the risks of heat disorders at the workplace, and in particular the "Required Sweat Rate" model as presented in ISO 7933 standard. The scientific bases of this standard were thoroughly reviewed and a revised model, called "Predicted Heat Strain" (PHS), was developed. This model was then used to predict the minute-by-minute sweat rates and rectal temperatures during 909 laboratory and field experiments. The change in sweat rate with time was predicted more accurately by the PHS model. This suggests that the PHS model would provide an improved basis upon which to determine allowable exposure times from the predicted heat strain in terms of dehydration and increased core temperature.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Mar. 2001, Vol.45, No.2, p.123-135. Illus. 28 ref.
Nag P.K., Nag A.
Shiftwork in the hot environment
Based on the analysis of 4125 accidents that occurred in the textile industry over a two-year period, this study examined the risks due to heat. It was found that accident prevalence was significantly higher in May and June when the ambient temperature ranged between 42 and 48°C. The influence of hot climate on accident causation was evident from the shift-related variations in the occurrence of accidents. The longitudinal study showed that workers working only during night shifts were more vulnerable to and less tolerant of heat than were rotating shift workers. The relationship of the segmental and compartmental temperatures (segmental triggering response) played a critical role in heat dissipation and on the accumulation mechanism, and was reflected in the heat tolerability of day and night workers.
Journal of Human Ergology, Dec. 2001, Vol.30, No.1-2, p.161-166. Illus. 20 ref.
Hermetic protective clothing
Szczelna odzież ochronna [in Polish]
Contents of this booklet on hermetic protective clothing: influence of hermetic protective clothing on the human body; maximum length of working time for workers wearing hermetic protective clothing; influence of underwear on work comfort.
Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland, 2001. 23p. Illus. 18 ref.
Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego
Evaluation of thermal comfort - Contribution to the application of international standards
Avaliação de conforto térmico - Contribuição à aplicação prática das normas internacionais [in Portuguese]
In Brazil, the thermal comfort of workers in not often taken into consideration. This thesis takes stock of the current level of understanding in the area of thermal comfort of workers and the applicable ISO standards, and analyses the practical implementation of these standards. Errors in the estimation of metabolism rates and thermal insulation of clothing are discussed, together with their influence on the evaluation of thermal comfort. Solutions aimed at minimizing these problems are proposed.
Fundacentro, Rua Capote Valente 710, São Paulo, SP 05409-002, Brazil, 2001. 77p. Illus. 77 ref. Price: BRL 15.00.
Malchaire J., Kampmann B., Mehnert P., Gebhardt H., Piette A., Havenith G., Den Hartog E., Holmer I., Parsons K., Alfano G., Griefahn B.
Evaluation of heat load risk during work in hot environments
Evaluation du risque de contrainte thermique lors du travail en ambiances chaudes [in French]
The objective of this project was to coordinate the work of the main European research teams in order to develop and improve methods to assess the risks encountered during work in hot conditions. Methods and formulas were developed that take into account the dynamic effects associated with forced convection and the pumping effect associated with body movements and exercise, as well as more severe conditions in terms of radiation, humidity and different clothing. Criteria concerning the maximum increase in core temperature and the acceptable water loss, for acclimatized and non-acclimatized subjects, were reviewed and updated. These limits intend to protect 95% of the population. A strategy was developed to assess the risks in any working situation with varying conditions of the climate, of metabolic rate or of clothing. A methodology was developed for observation and analysis. The Predicted Heat Strain model developed as part of this project is presently proposed for the revision of the ISO 7933 standard.
Médecine du travail & Ergonomie / Arbeidsgezondheitszorg & Ergonomie, 2001, Vol.XXXVIII, No.3, p.101-112. Illus. 31 ref.
An ergonomic evaluation of job stress in a typical hot industry
24 foundry plant workers were randomly selected to study the impact of occupational workload on the physiological functions during routine tasks. Environmental heat load was assessed from measurements of ambient air temperature, humidity, wind velocity and radiant heat. The physiological demand was evaluated in terms of energy cost, heart rate and oral temperature. Findings reveal that the environmental heat load in the forge shop (expressed as corrected effective temperature) was severe (32.0°C). Extreme conditions were observed at 38.9°C, well above the current permissible limit of 29.5°C for industrial work. From the consideration of the energetic workload, the jobs were rated "moderate" to "heavy", while based on the circulatory stress, they rated between "heavy" and "very heavy". Several suggestions are made for improving working conditions.
INDOSHNEWS, Jan.-Mar. 2001, Vol.6, No.1, p.9-14. 17 ref.
Nilsson T., Lundström R.
Quantitative thermal perception thresholds relative to exposure to vibration
Thermal perception of cold, warmth, and heat pain was bilaterally determined from the thenar eminence by the method of limits in a cross section of 123 male workers exposed to vibration and 62 unexposed male workers. Perception of cold and warmth were also tested in the second digit. Personal energy equivalent exposure to vibration was measured for all subjects. Vibration was assessed separately for the left and right hand. The results indicate thermal sensory impairment related to cumulative exposure to vibration. The effect appeared at vibration levels below the current guiding standard. Quantitative sensory testing of thermal perception offers the chance to assess this specific hazard to the peripheral sensorineural system associated with hand intensive work entailing vibration.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2001, Vol.58, No.7, p.472-478. Illus. 36 ref.
Blomkvist A.C., Gard G.
Computer use in cold environments
This study addresses computer work in cold environments. It discusses the general conditions for such work, and specifically explores the use of fingers for data entry in the cold. Five cold workplaces involving the use of computers were studied. It was found that the effects of the cold were in line with those mentioned in the literature, with the manual lifting of heavy goods being most impairing activity. Subjects contended with strenuous working postures and cold fingers while holding the computers in their hands or arms. Different methods of entering data with keyboards or touch screens, including with the use of fingers or styluses, were studied. From an ergonomic standpoint, the use of a stylus is recommended for data entry. Finally, a supportive rack is recommended in the case of portable computers.
Applied Ergonomics, June 2000, Vol.31, No.3, p.239-245. Illus. 17 ref.
Environmental ergonomics: A review of principles, methods and models
A review of the principles, methods and models used in environmental ergonomics is provided with reference to the effects of temperature, vibration, noise and light on health, comfort and performance. Environmental ergonomics is an integral part of the discipline of ergonomics and should be viewed and practiced from that perspective. Humans do not respond to the environment in proportion to the magnitude of the physical measures of the individual environmental components. There are human characteristics which determine human sensitivities and responses. Practical methods for assessing human responses to individual environmental components and to the total environment are presented, together with current and proposed international standards concerned with the ergonomics of the physical environment.
Applied Ergonomics, Dec. 2000, Vol.31, No.6, p.581-594. 49 ref.
O'Toole M.L., Johnson K.C., Satterfield S., Bush A.J., Koo W.W.K., Klesges R.C., Applegate W.B.
Do sweat calcium losses affect bone mass during firefighter training?
Although vigorous exercise is associated with increased bone mass, recent evidence suggests that loss of calcium in sweat may result in a negative calcium balance and, ultimately, a decrease in bone mass. Anthropometric characteristics, habitual physical activity levels, dietary calcium intake, bone mineral content and bone turnover markers were measured in 42 male firefighter recruits before and after four months of training. During two strenuous mid-training sessions, calcium loss in sweat was measured. At the end of the training period, it was found that bone mineral content increased significantly, as did one marker of bone formation, and were not associated with sweat calcium concentration. This study demonstrates that intense physical exercise that produces high sweat rates do not have an adverse effect on the bone mineral content of healthy young men.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2000, Vol.42, No.11, p.1054-1059. 36 ref.
Hassi J., Mäkinen T.
How to assess and manage cold-related risks in northern workplaces?
Exposure to low temperatures at work can give rise frostbite and hypothermia. Indirect effects and effects from longer-term exposure include a reduction of mental alertness, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and hyper-reactivity to cold, such as cold-induced urticaria, common in Finland. This article describes a European Union project aimed at developing tools for cold work risk assessment and management in order to reduce or prevent cold-related adverse effects.
Barents - Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, 2000, Vol.3, No.1-2, p.23-26. Illus. 5 ref.
Rissanen S., Rintamäki H., Holmér I.
Prediction of duration limited exposure for participants wearing chemical protective clothing in the cold
The suitability of the IREQ (insulation required) index for predicting the thermal responses of six participants wearing chemical protective clothing was tested at -20 and -25°C. IREQ was used to calculate the duration-limited exposure (DLE). Measured DLE correlated well with the predicted DLE. In exposures exceeding 40min, however, the predicted DLE tended to be 10-20min too short compared to the measured DLE. During short exposures, the prediction was 5-20min too long. IREQ overestimated the cold strain in participants wearing chemical protective clothing during cold exposures longer than 40min. Nevertheless, the predicted DLE never exceeded measured times; consequently, the prediction was always safe from the occupational point of view.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2000, Vol.6, No.4, p.451-461. Illus. 18 ref.
Blomkvist A.C., Gard G.
Computer usage with cold hands: An experiment with pointing devices
Computers are occasionally used outdoors and in connection with cold store work. Cold hands and fingers can limit data input, as studied here. Six input devices, including trackballs, pens, and a mouse were tested by 19 participants in a screen target acquisition task with two target sizes under two experimental conditions, i.e. with a warm and with a cold right hand. Data measured were acquisition times, number of errors, participant's preferences, and observed handling of the devices. Effects of device, target size, and temperature were significant. Learning and attempts to improve handgrip were confirmed. Large-enough targets, a thick pen, and a mouse make computer work practicable in the cold. Direct visual feedback shortened acquisition times by half a second.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2000, Vol.6, No.4, p.429-450. Illus. 38 ref.
Beaumont D., Lauzier F., Le Bâcle C, Marchand C., Roos F.
Working conditions at asbestos-removal sites - Sector 2 friable materials
Conditions de travail des opérateurs dans les chantiers de désamiantage - Secteur 2 matériaux friables [in French]
This article is a report on a cross-sectional study conducted by questionnaire by industrial physicians among operators at 45 asbestos removal sites. The objectives were to better understand working conditions, and to better evaluate the hazardous and strenuous nature of work at these sites so as to come up with recommendations with respect to work time schedules. The use of personal protective equipment, and in particular of impermeable overalls results in high thermal loads. It is therefore necessary to provide for rest times and to limit the hours of work.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 4th Quarter 2000, No.84, p.389-404. Illus. 4 ref.
Alcouffe J., Hays G., Mzabi M., Reffet H.
Employees of frozen-food departments
Employé de magasin de surgelés [in French]
The sale of frozen foods has grown rapidly during the last decades, and there are now shops specialized in these products. Various jobs and their constraints are described. The physical workload is high, resulting in a "quite heavy" to "heavy" classification for these jobs. Thermal stress is lower than generally imagined, and are mostly limited to the hands. The mental workload is not negligible. The article makes several recommendations for improving working conditions. It also contains (as an insert) an information sheet on working in frozen-food shops, whose contents include: definition and characteristics of the occupation; description of activities (workplaces, tools and equipment, products and work procedures, movements and postures, personal protective equipment); risks and stresses of the job (connected with the environment, the equipment, the products used, the working hours, the physical and mental workload); occupational diseases and accidents; prevention of hazards (collective, personal, OSH measures); regulations applicable in France.
Cahiers de médecine interprofessionnelle, 2000, Vol.40, No.4, p.401-407. + Insert 2p. Illus. 7 ref.
Srivastava A., Kumar R., Joseph E., Kumar A.
Heat exposure study in the workplace in a glass manufacturing unit in India
The heat exposure of workers in coastal areas of tropical countries such as India can have important consequences on productivity and product quality. The hot climate exacerbates the heat exposure close to sources like furnaces. In the present study, heat exposure to workers in glass manufacturing units in a coastal region of India have been assessed. The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), the Corrected Effective Temperature (CET) and Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT) were measured. The WBGT values much exceeded the threshold limit values recommended by the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Recommendations are made with respect to work and rest periods for hot workplaces suited to tropical conditions. Certain aspects of the AGCIH standard also need to be adapted to suit tropical conditions.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Sep. 2000, Vol.44, No.6, p.449-453. Illus. 3 ref.
Platania G., Amicucci G.L., Di Lollo L., Minervini C., Ranieri D., Scarana M., Di Bartolomeo R., Fedeli W.A.
The influence of the ageing of low-voltage power lines on the conservation of their electrical and mechanical properties
Influenza dell'invecchiamento nella conservazione delle caratteristiche elettriche e meccaniche dei cavi impiegati in bassa tensione [in Italian]
Power lines are subject to ageing and physical stress due to heat, and to chemical and mechanical agents. The outer casing gradually loses its elasticity and becomes frail leaving the conductors exposed and raising the risk of insulation loss and direct contact, the latter being a particular safety risk. This study undertook an investigation into some of the causes of such deteriorations. Only a cable laid in a way to be mechanically protected may continue to meet electric insulation requirements for many years. If the same cable is used in equipment having moving parts it will be subjected to casing losses, expecially if no measures are adopted to allow sufficient heat dissipation.
Prevenzione oggi, 2000, Vol.12, No.4, p.3-25. Illus. 21 ref.
Hassi J., Gardner L., Hendricks S., Bell J.
Occupational injuries in the mining industry and their association with statewide cold ambient temperatures in the USA
The association of ambient temperature and wind data from the National Climatic Data Center with injury data from mines reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was evaluated over a 6-year period from 1985-1990. 72,716 injuries from the seven states with the most numerous injuries were included. A weighted linear regression tested the relationship of daily temperature and injury rate for all injury classes. As temperatures decreased, injury rates increased for both cold exposure injuries and slip and fall injuries. The association of slip and fall injuries with temperature was inverse, but not strictly linear. The strongest association appeared with temperatures 29°F and below (i.e. below -2°C). The injury rates for other accident categories increased with increasing ambient temperatures. This study demonstrates the existence of an association between ambient temperatures and occupational slip and fall injuries.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2000, Vol.38, No.1, p.49-58. Illus. 31 ref.
Bell J.L, Gardner L.I., Landsittel D.P.
Slip and fall-related injuries in relation to environmental cold and work location in above-ground coal mining operations
The association between slip and fall-related injuries and environmental temperature was examined for enclosed, outdoor and enclosed-outdoor jobs in the coal mining industry having varying exposure to cold temperatures. Temperature data were evaluated from 1985-1990 for seven states. Proportionate methods were used to examine the relationship between slips and falls and temperature. Proportionate injury ratios of slips and fall-related injuries increased as temperature declined for all three work locations. Proportion of slips and fall-related injuries that occurred while running/walking increased with declining temperature, with the ground outside as the most common source of these injuries. Outside movement becomes a greater hazard at freezing temperatures for workers in all locations, not just outdoor workers. Any intervention methods geared toward reducing injury incidents facilitated by cold weather must also be directed toward workers who spend time in more enclosed locations.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2000, Vol.38, No.1, p.40-48. Illus. 38 ref.
Kampmann B., Piekarski C.
The evaluation of workplaces subjected to heat stress: Can ISO 7933 (1989) adequately describe heat strain in industrial workplaces?
The international Standard ISO 7933 (1989) "Hot environments - Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal stress using calculation of required sweat rate" (see CIS 90-1357) has been proposed for the evaluation of climatic stress within the European system of CEN standards. Comparison of results of studies performed in climatic chambers and those in the field with the predictions of ISO 7933 show that there are considerable problems in using this index in practice in its present state of development. Improvements that would be necessary to allow it to be used as an established climatic index are discussed.
Applied Ergonomics, Feb. 2000, Vol.31, No.1, p.59-71. Illus. 21 ref.
Donoghue A.M., Sinclair M.J., Bates G.P.
Heat exhaustion in a deep underground metalliferous mine
A total of 106 miners working in a deep underground mine suffered from acute heat exhaustion in the course of a one-year period. Their history was obtained with a structured questionnaire, and their pulse rate, blood pressure, tympanic temperature and urine-specific gravity measured before treatment. Venous blood was analysed during the acute presentation and after recovery. Body mass index and maximum O2 consumption were measured after recovery. Psychrometric wet bulb temperature, dry bulb temperature and air velocity were measured at the underground sites where heat exhaustion had occurred. Conclusions are that heat exhaustion in underground miners is associated with dehydration, neutrophil leukocytosis, eosinopenia, metabolic acidosis, increased glucose and ferritin, and a mild rise in creatine kinase, aspartate transaminase and lactate dehydrogenase.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2000, Vol.57, No.3, p.165-174. Illus. 44 ref.
Griefahn B., Künemund C., Gehring U., Mehnert P.
Drafts in cold environments - The significance of air temperature and direction
The influence of air temperature and of the direction of drafts on subjective and physiological responses is investigated in 58 healthy persons. Drafts were applied horizontally or vertically with mean air velocities of 0.1 to 0.3m/s and a turbulence intensity of 50%. Air temperature was varied between 11 and 23°C and metabolic rates between <70 and 156W/m2. These parameters were kept constant during the one-hour sessions. The subjects were dressed for thermal neutrality. Draft-induced annoyance was registered every five minutes using a list of prescribed body parts and skin temperature was measured at the forearm and at the neck. Subjective and physiological responses were systematically related to air temperature. Draft-induced general annoyance, draft-induced local annoyance (neck, forearm) and the drop of the corresponding skin temperature were inversely related to air temperature. Horizontal drafts seem to cause somewhat stronger reactions.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2000, Vol.38, No.1, p.30-40. Illus. 24 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Thermal comfort in the workplace
This booklet explains what is meant by thermal comfort in the workplace, together with the relevant legal requirements for employers to ensure comfortable working temperatures for employees during hot or cold weather. It refers to the applicable standards, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (CIS 93-351) and the accompanying code of practice.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, July 1999. iv, 12p. 10 ref. Price: GBP 3.50.
http://www.kent.ac.uk/safety/HSEguidetothermalcomfort.pdf [in English]
Kowalik K., Augustyńska D., Drygała M., Gierasimiuk J., Konarska M., Pośniak M.
Occupational safety and health in small business - Occupational safety and health in boiler rooms - OSH check list; Employers' guide
Bezpieczeństwo i higiena pracy w małych przedsiębiorstwach - Bezpieczeństwo i higiena pracy w kotłowniach - Lista kontrolna bhp; Poradnik pracodawcy [in Polish]
The check list for the evaluation of occupational safety and health in boiler rooms is designed for use in conjunction with the corresponding employer's guide. It lists the potential hazards that may be found in these workplaces and provides suggestions for their control or elimination. It also contains a list of relevant Polish legislation and technical standards.
Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland, 1998-1999. 25+24p. 55+3 ref.
Bartels V.T., Umbach K.H.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Physiological optimization of cut-resistant protective clothing
Bekleidungsphysiologische Optimierung von Schnittschutzkleidung [in German]
Over 250,000 workers in Germany (including forestry workers, fire fighters and rescue workers) use chain saws and need to wear cut-resistant protective clothing. This type of clothing generally cannot be used for extended work periods without leading to the critical overheating of the body, particularly during the warm season and with heavy physical activity. The objective of this project was to develop thermophysiologically-optimized cut-resistant protective clothing systems. Heat transmissions were recorded for clothing made from various fabric weights, layer compositions and constructions, and clothing fabrics offering the best comfort while meeting specific technical protection requirements were identified. Skin sensitivity was also taken into account in choosing the layer of fabric in direct contact with the skin.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 1999. 80p. Illus. 3 ref. Price: EUR 10.00.
Mayer A., Korhonen E.
Assessment of the protection efficiency and comfort of personal protective equipment in real conditions of use
The lack of scientific and technical knowledge in certain complex fields have led to the adoption of European standards based on insufficiently validated tests, relying sometimes on an empirical approach. For example, personal protective equipment (PPE) which passes the tests required by the standards can nevertheless prove to be unsatisfactory when used at work. Several research investigations have already been carried out on equipment such as fall-arresting systems, protective clothing, and gloves, by several safety and health institutes in Europe. The results suggest practical solutions to improve the validity of several European test methods and to focus more on informing and training workers on the proper way of wearing PPE, in particular respiratory protective equipment and hearing protectors.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 1999, Vol.5, No.3, p.347-360. Illus. 31 ref.
Cold weather workers safety guide
This guide for the prevention of hazards due to outdoor work in cold weather is a revised edition of the version analysed under CIS 99-768. It is aimed at workers, supervisors, safety and health representatives, and occupational safety and health professionals. Contents: elements of on-the-job safety; safety inspections; accident investigation and reporting; first aid; hazards due to cold environments; measurement of cold (including wind chill factors); dressing warmly; maintenance of cold-weather clothing; working safely on snow and ice; ice safety on frozen bodies of water; vital signs of cold injury (including prevention and treatment of frostbite, hypothermia, trench foot, white finger and carpal tunnel syndrome); cold-weather work in remote areas; general safety in outdoor work (electric safety, ladders, chain saws, compact loaders, snow throwers, shovelling and digging, manual material handling, truck start up, infectious waste); safety guidelines for the work environment; personal protective equipment; OSH legislation in Canada; sources of additional information. Document also available in French at CCOHS.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 250 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1H6, Canada, 2nd ed., 1999. 106p. Illus. Price: CAD 10.00 (Canada); USD 10.00 (elsewhere).
Gamble J.F., Nicolich M.J., Barone N.J., Vincent W.J.
Exposure-response of asphalt fumes with changes in pulmonary function and symptoms
This study examines possible associations between asphalt fumes and changes in lung function and symptoms among 170 workers of the asphalt industry exposed to asphalt fumes. Exposure was estimated from measurements of total particulate (TP), respirable particulate, the benzene-soluble fraction of the TP, volatile hydrocarbons, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide in breathing-zone samples. Ozone and humidity levels were also measured in the work area. In addition, daily cigarette smoking was determined by questionnaire. Overall, no consistent association was observed between an acute reduction in lung function or the incidence of symptoms and exposure to asphalt fumes. There were no observed adverse effects at concentrations close to maximum levels. There were no exposure-response trends with ozone, heat stress, cigarette smoked, or workday length.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, June 1999, Vol.25, No.3, p.186-206. Illus. 35 ref.
Martinet C., Meyer J.P.
Working in hot environments and thermal comfort
Travail à la chaleur et confort thermique [in French]
The objective of this study was to describe physical and physiological phenomena characterizing work under hot conditions and conditions of thermal comfort, and to propose an approach for their analysis using a simple index. This index is based on the continuous measurement of pulse rate (Fc) and the calculation of the excess heart pulsations (EPCT) between the beginning and end of the exposure. The approach was validated by experimental results obtained from examining 18 tasks involving 98 workers under real hot work conditions. Results show that the EPCT is closely linked to the increase in oral temperature during exposure, and that an EPCT below 20 is indicative of an acceptable physiological load.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, Dec. 1999. v, 59p. Illus. 74 ref.
Ministério do Trabalho
Thermal comfort at the workplace
Conforto térmico nos ambientes de trabalho [in Portuguese]
This document includes all the elements required to evaluate thermal comfort at the workplace, determine satisfactory levels as a function of the place and nature of work, and improve existing conditions. The concept of thermal comfort is defined and energy expenditure related to various tasks is expressed in tabular form. Thermal comfort is influenced by several factors: temperature, relative velocity and humidity of air, average radiant temperature, thermal insulation of the work clothes worn and physical activity carried out. Comfort diagrams provide graphical representations of combinations of these factors. Several examples of calculations applied to real cases are presented.
Fundacentro, Rua Capote Valente 710, São Paulo, SP 05409-002, Brazil, 1999. 94p. Illus. 24 ref.
Müller-Arnecke H.W., Hold U.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Ergonomic design of cold work in the neighbourhood of 0°C
Ergonomische Gestaltung von Kältearbeit im Bereich von 0°C [in German]
A number of physical parameters (skin temperature at different parts of the body, rectal temperature, rate of body temperature recovery, evaporation, eyelid movement, heart rate), performance indicators (skills, sensorimotor capability), subjective parameters (sensations of cold) and reactions (tremors, loss of sensation in extremities) were evaluated in subjects accomplishing work tasks of different intensity in simulated cold working environments (between -5°C and 5°C). The subjects wore clothing combinations providing different degrees of protection against cold and drafts. It was concluded that skin temperature at the extremities is the most useful parameter to measure; it does not return to normal during ordinary work breaks. Based on the results, ergonomic principles for the design of workplaces of temperature classes I and II of DIN 33403 (such as meat cutting) are formulated. Summaries in English and French.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 1999. 148p. Illus. 150 ref.
Marszalek A., Smolander J., Sołtyński K., Sobolewski A.
Physiological strain of wearing aluminized protective clothing at rest in young, middle-aged and older men
The aim of this study was to assess the thermal strain of wearing radiation protective clothing as a function of age. The subjects were 24 healthy men similar in daily physical activity, body size and subcutaneous fat thickness, divided into three groups: young, middle-aged and older. Subjects rested in a sitting position for 60min in a climatic chamber in two experiments with WBGT of around 29°C that represented a low stress (LS, low radiant heat and little clothing) and high stress (HS, high radiant heat and aluminized protective clothing). The findings indicate that heat stress conditions did not cause marked heat strain, which seemed to be within acceptable limits for all age groups. Healthy older men were able to tolerate the heat stress tests as well as young and middle-aged men. However, ratings of thirst in the oldest group may indicate a greater risk for dehydration.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 29 Nov. 1999, Vol.25, No.2, p.195-202. Illus. 29 ref.
Smith R.A., Ascherl F.M.
Issues concerning the measurement of borate in occupational environments
Borates are susceptible to weight change due to uptake or loss of water and this hydration instability can lead to gravimetric and interpretation errors in occupational hygiene field sampling of dust. The hydration stability for inhalable borate dust particles (mean diameter 7-22µm) was characterized over a range of ambient temperature and relative humidity conditions simulating field sampling. Borax 10 mol, a fully hydrated borate, has a relatively high vapour pressure to water that led to rapid dehydration with significant weight change. Low hydrate borates, Neobor® borax 5 mol, anhydrous boric acid and anhydrous borax were found to hydrate rapidly with an increase in weight. In contrast, boric acid and borax 5 mol were found to be stable to dehydration under all conditions. Because the specific borate species or borate compounds collected in a 37-mm dust sampler cannot be accurately identified, occupational exposure values should be revised to reflect exposure to boron and exposure values for these borates should be the same based on equivalent boron content.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Sep.-Oct. 1999, Vol.60, No.5, p.651-658. Illus. 13 ref.
Prisby R., Glickman-Weiss E.L., Nelson A.G., Caine N.
Thermal and metabolic responses of high and low fat women to cold water immersion
The purpose of the present investigation was to find out if women with high levels of body fat (30±3%) had a different reaction to being immersed in cold water from those having low levels of body fat (20.5±2%). The thermal and metabolic responses of six women in each category were monitored during acute exposure to 17°C water for 120min. The following variables were measured: rectal temperature, mean skin temperature, oxygen consumption and tissue insulation. Unexpectedly, only one of the variables demonstrated a main effect for fat. Rectal temperature demonstrated a significant group by time interaction. However, mean skin temperature demonstrated a main effect for time. While oxygen consumption demonstrated an increase across time, these changes were non-significant. It appears that the high-fat (HF) group demonstrated a similar thermal and metabolic response as their low-fat (LF) counterparts. However, the LF groups maintained a lower rectal temperature as compared with the HF subjects. Perhaps leaner subjects or colder water temperatures would elucidate the value of body fat in females, and demonstrate a differential response with respect to females varying in percent body fat.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 1999, Vol.70, No.9, p.887-891. Illus. 18 ref.
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