Heat and cold - 949 entries found
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Mangeot A.M., Vogel L.
Production and reproduction - Stealing the health of future generations
Attività produttive e riproduzione umana - Quando il lavoro diventa una minaccia per le generazioni future [in Italian]
This issue reproduces the full contents of a booklet originally published by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), whose aim is to help improve awareness of work-related reproductive hazards, which consist of a vast and complex mix including chemicals, ionizing radiation, vibration, heat, biological agents and stress. They also have a wide variety of effects, including male and female infertility, miscarriages, birth defects and impaired child development. They often receive scant attention. There is probably no other sphere of safety and health at work in which the available information is so piecemeal and lacking. The booklet reviews and gives a broad-brush picture of the available knowledge for a general readership. It forms part of the general work of ETUI to develop a critical trade union approach to safety and health at work. This particular publication deals in most detail with chemicals, but also provides relevant information on other reproductive risks.
2087, Casa editrice Edit Coop, Via dei Frentani 4/A, 00185 Rome, Italy, Sep.-Oct. 2008, No.6/7, p.1-65 (whole issue). Illus. 69 ref.
Pachauri R.K., Kjellstrom T., Lemke B., Otto M., Makhonge P., Dapi L.N., Hawthorne L., Valenti A., Iavicoli S., London L., Reynolds L., Irlam J., Kaoneka B.S., Lekei E., Bansimbile A., SeLvage G., Lehtinen S.
Collection of articles on the impact of climate change on occupational safety and health (OSH) in African countries. Contents: climate change, occupational heat stress and impacts on health and productivity in Africa; climate change challenges in Kenya; impact of climate change on students in Yaoundé, Cameroon; climate change impacts on farmers in Ethiopia; impact of climate change and green jobs on OSH; climate change, OSH and social justice; environmental impactions of pest control practices in vegetable production in Tanzania. Other topics brief reports on OSH conferences during 2011 in Accra, Ghana, Istanbul, Turkey and Espoo, Finland.
African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, Dec. 2011, Vol.21, No.3, p.43-63 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Climate_change_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Katica C.P., Pritchett R.C., Pritchett K.L., Del Pozzi A.T., Balilionis G., Burnham T.
Effects of forearm vs. leg submersion in work tolerance time in a hot environment while wearing firefighter protective clothing
This study compared physiological responses and total work tolerance time following forearm submersion (FS) or leg submersion (LS) in cool water, after performing work in a hot environment while wearing firefighting protective clothing (FPC). Participants walked at 3.5 mph on a treadmill in a hot environment until a rectal temperature of 38.5°C was reached. They were then subjected to one of two peripheral cooling interventions, in a counterbalanced order. Forearms or lower legs were submerged in water (16.9±0.8°C) for 20 min, followed by a work tolerance trial. Findings are discussed. There was little difference between FS and LS for physiological measures. Despite a lack of statistical significance a 5-min (24%) increase was found for work tolerance time following LS.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2011, Vol.8, No.8, p.473-477. Illus. 18 ref.
Effects_of_forearm_vs._leg_submersion_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Matsuzuki H., Ito A., Ayabe M., Haruyama Y., Tomita S., Katamoto S., Muto T.
The effects of work environments on thermal strain on workers in commercial kitchens
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the effect of working environments in various kinds of commercial kitchens on the thermal strain of kitchen workers. Data collection was performed during busy times in eight commercial kitchens in Japan. Measured environmental variables were air temperature, radiant heat index, wet bulb globe thermometer index (WBGT) in front of the cookers, ambient temperature, and estimated ambient WBGT around the workers. The thermal strain on workers was evaluated by fluid loss, body temperatures, heart rate and amount of physical activity. The work environments were affected by the kitchen spaces, cooling devices, heating methods and heat sources. However even in midsummer, when environmental temperatures were controlled adequately, estimated ambient WBGTs around workers were below the occupational exposure limit. Overall, work environments and thermal strain on workers in commercial kitchen were not severe.
Industrial Health, Sep. 2011, Vol.49, No.5, p.605-613. Illus. 33 ref.
The_effects_of_work_environments_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Launnay J.C., Bourrilhon C., Savourey G.
Travail au froid [in French]
Contents of this review article on cold workplaces: characteristics of cold working environments, with examples; tolerance and physiological effects of work in cold environments; pathologies related to cold; improving cold tolerance.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, 3rd quarter 2011, No.172, 16p. Illus. 113 ref.
Stewart I.B., Hunt A.P.
Negligible heat strain in armored vehicle officers wearing personal body armor
This study evaluated the heat strain experienced by armoured vehicle officers (AVOs) wearing personal body armour (PBA) in a sub-tropical climate. Twelve male AVOs, aged 35-58 years, undertook an eight hour shift while wearing PBA. Heart rate and core temperature were monitored continuously. Urine specific gravity (USG) was measured before and after, and with any urination during the shift. Heart rate indicated an intermittent and low-intensity nature of the work. USG revealed six AVOs were dehydrated from pre through post shift, and two others became dehydrated. Core temperature averaged 37.4±0.3°C, with maximum's of 37.7±0.2°C. Despite increased age, body mass and poor hydration practices, and wet-bulb globe temperatures in excess of 30°C; the intermittent nature and low intensity of the work prevented excessive heat strain from developing.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2011, 6:22, 6p. Illus. 38 ref.
Negligible_heat_strain.pdf [in English]
Chou C., Tochihara Y., Ismail M.S., Lee J.Y.
Physiological strains of wearing aluminized and non-aluminized firefighters' protective clothing during exercise in radiant heat
This study examined the influences of aluminized and non-aluminized firefighters' protective clothing on physiological and subjective responses in radiant heat. Eight firefighters performed exercise at an air temperature of 30°C with 50%RH. Three bouts of 10 min-bicycle exercise in radiant heat (a globe temperature of 70°C) were spaced by a 10 min rest with no radiant heat. Results showed that rectal temperature, mean skin temperature, heart rate, and body weight loss were significantly greater for the aluminized clothing than for all types of non-aluminized clothing. For the aluminized clothing, thermal gradient of the body reached 0.0 ± 0.7°C, heart rate showed a maximum level of 183 ± 11 bpm and 1.9% of body weight was lost due to sweat secretion. Firefighters felt the hottest and most discomfort in the aluminized clothing. It appeared that firefighters' thermoregulatory mechanism was severely challenged by wearing aluminized protective clothing during exercise in strong radiant heat. Therefore, it is suggested that the safe upper limits while wearing aluminized firefighters' clothing should be distinguished from those for typical firefighters' protective clothing.
Industrial Health, Mar. 2011, Vol.49, No.2, p.185-194. Illus. 35 ref.
Physiological_strains.pdf [in English]
Pachauri R.K., Sareen S., Nagata A., Kjellstrom T., Lemke B., Hyatt O., Langkulsen U., Kabir I., Nag P.K., Nag A., Sekhar P., Shah P., Odland J.O., Nilsson M., Tylor A., Mcguiness C., Kawakami T.
Collection of articles on climate change of relevance to countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Contents: effect of climate change on the food safety and health of agricultural workers; potential threat to occupational health, worker productivity and local economic development by increased workplace heat exposure due to climate change; climate change and occupational health in Thailand; climate change and risks to health in Bangladesh; perceived heat stress and strain of workers; new tools to estimate climate change impacts on occupational health in Asia and the Pacific region; progress in the Hothaps programme assessing impacts and prevention of heat effects on working people in relation to local climate change; trade union policies on climate change; participatory approaches to improving occupational safety and health and preventing influenza of migrant workers in Thailand.
Asian-Pacific Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, May 2011, Vol.18, No.1, p.3-27 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Working in the summer heat
Arbeiten bei sommmerlicher Hitze [in German]
Travailler dans la chaleur de l'été [in French]
Whenever the ambient temperature reaches 26 to 28°C, it is necessary to conduct a precise evaluation of working conditions and to take appropriate prevention measures, which are described in this article with reference to Swiss labour legislation.
IZA - Sicherheit und Gesundheit, 2011, No.3, p.26-27. Illus.
Williams W.J., Coca A., Roberge R., Shepherd A., Powell J., Shaffer R.E.
Physiological responses to wearing a prototype firefighter ensemble compared with a standard ensemble
This study investigated the physiological responses to wearing a standard firefighter ensemble (SE) and a prototype ensemble (PE) modified from the SE that contained additional features, such as magnetic ring enclosures at the glove-sleeve interface, integrated boot-pant interface, integrated hood-SCBA facepiece interface, and a novel hose arrangement that rerouted self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) exhaust gases back into the upper portion of the jacket. Although the features of the PE increased the level of encapsulation of the wearer that could lead to increased physiological stress compared with the SE, it was hypothesized that the rerouted exhaust gases provided by the PE hose assembly would provide convective cooling to the upper torso, reduce the thermal stress experienced by the wearer and reduce the overall physiological stress imposed by the PE such that it would be either less or not significantly different from the SE. Ten subjects (seven male, three female) performed treadmill exercise in an environmental chamber while wearing either the SE with an SCBA or the PE with an SCBA. Heart rate, rectal temperature, sweat loss, and endurance time were measured. It was concluded that the rerouting of exhaust gases to the jacket did not provide significant convective cooling or reduce thermal stress compared with the SE under the mild conditions selected, and the data therefore did not support the hypotheses of the present study.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2011, Vol.8, p.49-57. Illus. 37 ref.
Joubert D., Thomsen J., Harrison O.
Safety in the heat: A comprehensive program for prevention of heat illness among workers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The Safety in the Heat programme was developed in response to the extreme heat stress conditions experienced by workers in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries each summer, where ambient air temperatures often reach 45°C and higher with 90% humidity. A comprehensive, multimedia, economical education and awareness programme targeting companies in the region was developed; 465 companies employing 814 996 heat-exposed workers across 6254 work and labor residence sites were reached. Feedback from programme participants indicated a high level of support and satisfaction. Results indicated a marked reduction in heat related illness over a period of two years (2008-2009) at two companies, one of which reported a combined 79.5% decrease in cases, while the other experienced a 50% reduction in serious cases.
American Journal of Public Health, Mar. 2011, Vol.101, No.3, p.395-398. Illus. 2 ref.
Jay O., Kenny G.P.
Heat exposure in the Canadian workplace
This review article discusses the potential impact of heat waves on the health and well-being of the Canadian workforce. Increasingly, industries rely on available technology and information to ensure the safety of their workers. Current Canadian labour codes apply the guidelines recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) that are Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) based upon Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT). The TLVs are set so that core body temperature of the workers supposedly does not exceed 38.0°C. Legislation in most Canadian provinces also requires employers to install engineering and administrative controls to reduce the heat stress risk of their working environment should it exceed the levels permissible under the WBGT system. There are however severe limitations using the WGBT system because it only directly evaluates the environmental parameters and merely incorporates personal factors such as clothing insulation and metabolic heat production through simple correction factors for broadly generalized groups. An improved awareness of the strengths and limitations of TLVs and the WGBT index can minimize preventable measurement errors and improve their utilization in workplaces. Work is on-going, particularly in the European Union to develop an improved individualized heat stress risk assessment tool.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.842-853. 76 ref.
Burström L., Järvholm B., Nilsson T., Wahlström J.
White fingers, cold environment, and vibration-exposure among Swedish construction workers
The aim of this study was to examine the association between white fingers, cold environment, and exposure to hand-arm vibration (HAV). The hypothesis was that working in cold climate increases the risk of white fingers. The occurrence of white fingers was investigated as a cross-sectional study in a cohort of 134,757 Swedish male construction workers. Exposure to HAV was based on a job-exposure matrix. Living in the north or south of Sweden was, in a subgroup of the cohort, used as an indicator of the exposure to cold environment. The analyses were adjusted for age and use of nicotine products (smoking and snuff). HAV-exposed workers living in a colder climate had a higher risk for white fingers than those living in a warmer climate (odds ratio (OR) 1.71). As expected, it was found that HAV-exposed workers had an increased risk compared to controls (OR 2.02). The risk for white fingers increased with increased level of exposure to HAV and also with age.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Nov. 2010, Vol.36, No.6, p.509-513. 18 ref.
Some notions of hygiene, safety and health applied to workplaces exposed to low and very low temperatures
Algumas noções de higiene, segurança e saúde aplicadas aos postos de trabalho sujeitos a temperaturas baixas e muito baixas [in Portuguese]
Contents of this literature survey on occupational hygiene, safety and health applicable to workplaces exposed to low and very low temperatures: main occupations concerned; physiopathology; physical effects; implications for employers; personal protective equipment; collective means of protection; specific aspects of work in cold chambers.
Segurança, Nov.-Dec. 2010, Vol.XLV, No.199, p.26-29. Illus. 11 ref.
Frost: Consequences and health precautions
Le gel: conséquences et précautions pour la santé [in French]
Frost can have severe consequences in winter, particularly for construction sites. Contents of this practical information sheet on work in the presence of risks of frost: factors favouring the onset of frost; definitions of frost and black ice; freezing, its consequences and precautions to be taken; health implications and means of protection against cold workplaces.
Prévention BTP, Nov. 2010, No. 135, Insert. 2p. Illus.
Bröde P., Kuklane K., Candas V., den Hartog E.A., Griefahn B., Holmér I., Meinander H., Nocker W., Richards M., Havenith G.
Heat gain from thermal radiation through protective clothing with different insulation, reflectivity and vapour permeability
The heat transferred through protective clothing under long wave radiation compared to a reference condition without radiant stress was determined in thermal manikin experiments. The influence of clothing insulation and reflectivity, and the interaction with wind and wet underclothing were considered. Garments with various outer materials and colours and additionally an aluminised reflective suit were combined with dry and pre-wetted underwear layers. Under radiant stress, whole body heat loss decreased, in other words heat gain occurred compared to the reference. This heat gain increased with radiation intensity and decreased with air velocity and clothing insulation. Except for the reflective outer layer that showed only minimal heat gain over the whole range of radiation intensities, the influence of the outer garments, material and colour was small with dry clothing. Wetting the underclothing for simulating sweat accumulation, however, caused differing effects with higher heat gain in less permeable garments.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2010, Vol.16, No.2, p.231-244. Illus. 40 ref.
NIOSH Fast Facts - Protecting yourself from heat stress
Datos Breves de NIOSH: Protéjase del estrés por calor [in Spanish]
Heat stress, from exertion or hot environments, places workers at risk for illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or heat cramps. This leaflet explains the symptoms and first aid measures for each of these conditions caused by heat.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Apr. 2010. PDF document. 2p.
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2010-114.pdf [in English]
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2010-114.pdf [in Spanish]
Diego Segura B., Guimaraens Juanena D., Rupérez Calvo M.J.
Sun at work: An overlooked hazard
Sol en el trabajo, un peligro olvidado [in Spanish]
According to the latest Spanish national survey on working conditions, 16.9% of workers spend most of their time outdoors and are exposed to solar radiation. Contents of this article on the dangers of working in the sun: definition of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation; UV index and required protective measures; effects of UV radiation on the skin; effects of UV radiation on the eyes; occupational diseases due to solar UV radiation; protection against solar radiation.
Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo, May 2010, No.57, p.10-17. Illus. 11 ref.
Sol_en_el_trabajo.pdf [in Spanish]
Inaba R., Mirbod S.M.
Subjective musculoskeletal symptoms in winter and summer among indoor working construction electricians
To evaluate the effects of cold exposure on the musculoskeletal system, two surveys on the subjective musculoskeletal symptoms among male electricians working in the buildings under construction were performed in winter and summer seasons. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on age, occupational career, working habits, present illness and subjective musculoskeletal symptoms. In general, prevalence rates of stiffness, numbness, pain and Raynaud's phenomenon in the fingers, finger cold sensation, dull movement of the fingers, pain in the wrist, knee joint pain, pain and numbness in the foot and foot cold sensation in winter were significantly higher than those in summer. Other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.48, No.1, p.29-37. 27 ref.
Subjective_musculoskeletal_symptoms.pdf [in English]
Haruyama Y., Muto T., Matsuzuki H., Ito A., Tomita S., Muto S., Haratani T., Seo A., Ayabe M., Katamoto S.
Evaluation of subjective thermal strain in different kitchen working environments using subjective judgment scales
To elucidate the subjective thermal strain of workers in kitchen working environments, a cross-sectional study involving 991 workers in 126 kitchen facilities in Japan was performed, using a self-reporting questionnaire survey and subjective judgment scales (SJS). The ambient temperature, mean radiant temperature (MRT), and wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index were measured in 10 kitchen facilities among the 126 kitchens. The association of SJS with the types of kitchen was estimated by multiple logistic regression models. Of the 991 kitchen workers, 809 (81%) responded to the questionnaire survey. Compared with electric kitchens, the proportion of workers who perceived the room temperature as hot to very hot was significantly higher, and the ambient temperature, MRT and WBGT were significantly higher in gas kitchens. Compared with electric kitchens, workers in gas kitchens had a more than fivefold (males) and tenfold (females) higher SJS adjusted for confounding factors (male odds ratio (OR), 5.13 and female OR 10.9). Although SJS was affected by some confounding factors, the results suggest that workers in gas kitchens might be exposed to a higher heat strain than those in electric kitchens.
Industrial Health, Mar. 2010, Vol.48, No.2, p.135-144. Illus. 29 ref.
Evaluation_of_subjective_thermal_strain.pdf [in English]
ASHCA/NIOSH Conference - Be safe, be profitable: Protecting workers in agriculture
This full issue includes the papers presented at a conference on protecting workers in agriculture, held on January 27-28 2010 in Dallas-Fort Worth, USA. Contents: global view of issues affecting United States production agriculture; perspectives of hired workers; overview of safety and health in the United States; preventing heat-related illness; respiratory issues; minimizing worker injuries in livestock handling; overcoming language barriers; safe tractor operations; aging agricultural workers; safety performance metrics; minimizing exposures to pesticides; pre-harvest food safety; musculoskeletal disorders; preventing injuries to reduce cost; zoonotic influenza and its implications for agricultural workers.
Journal of Agromedicine, 3rd quarter 2010, Vol.15, No.3, p.17-329 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Overview of thermal environments
Le point sur les ambiances thermiques [in French]
Climatic conditions greatly influence human performance. Thermal environments that are either too hot or too cold can be detrimental to health and can, in particular, cause reduced concentration ability and loss of dexterity. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures is hazardous to health. This article reviews the factors that influence thermal comfort, the minimal and maximal temperatures to be complied with, the parameters to be calculated and the preventive measures to be adopted.
Prevent Focus, June 2010, p.4-7. Illus.
Schulte P.A., Chun H.
Climate change and occupational safety and health: Establishing a preliminary framework
The relationship between global climate change and occupational safety and health has not been extensively characterized. This article develops a framework for identifying how climate change could affect the workplace, workers, occupational morbidity, mortality and injury, based on a review of the published scientific literature from 1988-2008 that includes climatic effects, their interaction with occupational hazards, and their manifestation in the working population. Seven categories of climate-related hazards are identified: increased ambient temperature; air pollution; ultraviolet exposure; extreme weather; vector-borne diseases and expanded habitats; industrial transitions and emerging industries; changes in the built environment. This review indicates that while climate change may result in increasing the prevalence, distribution, and severity of known occupational hazards, there is no evidence of unique or previously unknown hazards. However, such a possibility should not be excluded, since there is potential for interactions of known hazards and new conditions, possibly leading to new hazards and risks.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Sep. 2009, Vol.6, p.542-554. Illus. 136 ref.
Climate_change_and_OSH_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Schulte P.A., Chun H.
Climate change and occupational safety and health: Establishing a preliminary framework
This article develops framework for identifying how climate change could affect occupational safety and health based on a review of the published scientific literature from 1988-2008 that includes climatic effects, their interaction with occupational hazards, and their manifestation in the working population. Seven categories of climate-related hazards are identified: increased ambient temperature, air pollution, ultraviolet exposure, extreme weather, vector-borne diseases and expanded habitats, industrial transitions and emerging industries; changes in the built environment. This review indicates that while climate change may result in increasing the prevalence, distribution and severity of known occupational hazards, there is no evidence of unique or previously unknown hazards. However, such a possibility should not be excluded, since there is potential for interactions of known hazards and new conditions leading to new hazards and risks.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Sep. 2009, Vol.6, No.9, p.542-554. Illus. 136 ref.
Climate_change.pdf [in English]
Bernard T.E., Ashley C.D.
Short-term heat stress exposure limits based on wet bulb globe temperature adjusted for clothing and metabolic rate
Most heat stress exposure assessments based on wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) consider the environmental conditions, metabolic demands, and clothing requirements, and the exposure limit is for extended work periods (e.g., a typical workday). The U.S. Navy physiological heat exposure limit (PHEL) curves and rational models of heat stress also consider time as a job risk factor so that there is a limiting time for exposures above a conventional WBGT exposure limit. The PHEL charts have not been examined for different clothing and the rational models require personal computers. This study examined the role of clothing in short-term exposures and proposed a relationship between a Safe Exposure Time and WBGT adjusted for clothing and metabolic rate. Twelve participants worked at a metabolic rate of 380W in three clothing ensembles, namely work clothes, microporous coveralls and vapour-barrier coveralls at five levels of heat stress. The combinations of metabolic rate, clothing and environment were selected in anticipation that the participants would reach a physiological limit in less than 120 min. An equation was developed to recommend a safe exposure time for exposures up to 120 min.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Oct. 2009, Vol.6, p.632-638. Illus. 10 ref.
Makin J., Dobbinson S., Doyle C.
Victorian farmers' and other rural outdoor workers' skin cancer prevention - knowledge and practices
Farmers and other rural outdoor workers are a high-risk group for skin cancer. This study aimed to describe the skin cancer prevention knowledge and practices of farmers and other rural outdoor workers in two regions of the State of Victoria. Data were collected by means of questionnaires from 366 farmers and 140 other rural outdoor workers. Most respondents believed that they were at risk of developing skin cancer and had high levels of knowledge regarding the issue. However their prevention practices were less than optimal, particularly in terms of the low percentages reporting regular use of sunscreens or wear of long-sleeved shirts (21% and 20% respectively). Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, 2009, Vol.25, No.2, p.115-121. 28 ref.
Mäkinen T.M., Jokelainen J., Näyhä S., Laatikainen T., Jousilahti P., Hassi J.
Occurrence of frostbite in the general population - Work-related and individual factors
Based on data from several regional surveys in Finland, this study analyzed the incidence of frostbite in the general population and the related risk factors. The annual frequencies of mild and severe frostbite were 12.9% and 1.1%, respectively. Frostbite was found to occur more frequently among men than women. Work-related risk factors included employment in certain industries, high physical strain and weekly cold exposure at work. Individual factors that increase frostbite risk are diabetes, white fingers in the cold, cardiac insufficiency, angina pectoris, stroke, depressive feelings and heavy alcohol consumption.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Sep. 2009, Vol.35, No.5, p.384-393. Illus. 35 ref.
Holmér I., Parsons K.C., Tochihara Y., Sawada S.
Cold stress at work
Collection of articles on cold as a hazard in the workplace. Among the topics addressed: health problems and symptoms related to working in cold environments; evaluation of exposure to cold; research on cold work in Russia and Finland; protection requirements; deterioration of manual performance when working under cold conditions; cold-exposed workers in the food industry in Finland; outdoor work among construction workers and traffic controllers in Japan.
Industrial Health, May 2009, Vol.47, No.3, p.205-291 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Oliveira A.V., Gaspar A.R., Quintela D.A.
Occupational exposure to cold thermal environments: A field study in Portugal
This study of cold thermal environments covered 101 workplaces from 32 industrial units in six activity sectors in Portugal. Work environments were allocated to typical exposure categories corresponding to freezing and refrigerating cold stores and free-running or controlled air temperature manufacturing workplaces. Cold exposure levels were evaluated using the ISO/TR 11079 standard. Findings show that a significant percentage of workers are repeatedly exposed to extreme conditions with insufficient clothing insulation. Among a total of 3667 workers, about one-third (1151) are exposed to cold. Other findings are discussed.
European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2008, No.104, p.207-214. Illus. 28 ref.
Occupational_exposure.pdf [in English]
Frost S., Mogridge R.
Health and Safety Executive
Physiological safety of airfed suit use during nuclear decommissioning
Most nuclear decommissioning operations require work to be done by employees working in potentially hazardous environments. Operatives conducting this work are required to wear air-fed suits (AFSs) to minimise risks from radioactive particulate hazards. The objective of this literature survey was to review existing legislation, guidance and standards applicable to AFS use in nuclear decommissioning work, with respect to the physiological safety of the wearer.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008. vi, 25p. 51 ref.
HSE_Research_Report_658.pdf [in English]
Dessureault P.C., Tellier A.
Auto-surveillance of the thermal stress of young workers assigned to hay storage
L'autosurveillance de l'astreinte thermique des jeunes travailleurs affectés à l'engrangement du foin [in French]
Observations of young workers assigned to hay storage have confirmed extremely high levels of heat stress. Occupational safety and health regulations recommend using the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) to measure heat stress. However, this index is difficult to apply in an agricultural environment, mainly because it requires specialized knowledge and instruments. This study investigated the feasibility of applying an auto-surveillance program intended for young workers. The experiments carried out among these workers have shown that they can ensure their own safety if they monitor their level of heat stress by means of a cardiofrequency meter measuring their heart rate. However, employers must also provide them with the appropriate beverages, encourage them to take breaks and supply them with all the necessary information about their working in hot environments.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2008. v, 50p. Illus. 68 ref. Price: CAD 7.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Rapport_R-580.pdf [in French]
Risikko T., Remes J., Hassi J.
Implementation of cold risk management in occupational safety, occupational health and quality practices. Evaluation of a development process and its effects at the Finnish maritime administration
Cold is a typical environmental risk factor in outdoor work in northern regions. It should be taken into account in the occupational safety, health and quality systems of enterprises. An approach was developed for improving cold risk management at the Finnish Maritime Administration. This study evaluates the results of implementing this approach three years after its introduction. Although findings showed an increased awareness about cold work, there were few concrete improvements or policy implementations. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2008, Vol.14, No.4, p.433-446. Illus. 39 ref.
Runyan C.W., Vladutiu C.J., Rauscher K.J., Schulman M.
Teen workers' exposures to occupational hazards and use of personal protective equipment
Prior research indicates that working adolescents seek care for the toxic effects of on-the-job chemical and environmental hazard exposures. This cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of 866 adolescent workers in the retail and service sector examines their exposures, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and training. Two-thirds of respondents were exposed to continuous, very loud noise, 55% to thermal hazards and 54% to chemical hazards. Few teens reported using any PPE, though those who had been trained reported somewhat higher usage. Teens working in the retail and service sectors experience a variety of chemical, thermal, biologic and noise exposures. Efforts to eradicate such exposures need to be complemented by increased provision of PPE and appropriate training in their use.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.51, No.10, p.735-740. Illus. 23 ref.
Bates G.P., Schneider J.
Hydration status and physiological workload of UAE construction workers: A prospective longitudinal observational study
The objective of the study was to investigate the physiological responses of construction workers under thermally stressful environments in the United Arab Emirates using Thermal Work Limit (TWL) as a method of environmental risk assessment. Body temperature, fluid intake and urine specific gravity were recorded, and continuous heart rate monitoring was used to assess fatigue. Subjects were monitored over three consecutive shifts. TWL and WBGT were used to assess the thermal stress. The results indicated that the workers were not physiologically challenged despite fluctuating harsh environmental conditions. Core body temperatures were not elevated suggesting satisfactory thermoregulation. The data demonstrate that people can work, without adverse physiological effects in hot conditions if they are provided with the appropriate fluids and are allowed to self-pace.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Sep. 2008, Vol.3, No.21, 10p. Illus. 29 ref.
http://www.occup-med.com/content/pdf/1745-6673-3-21.pdf [in English]
Bates G.P., Miller V.S.
Sweat rate and sodium loss during work in the heat
This study aimed to quantify likely sodium losses during work in heat. Male subjects exercised in an environmental chamber on two consecutive days in both winter and summer. Sweat collecting devices were attached to the upper arms and legs. Sweat rates were higher and sodium concentrations were lower in the summer than the winter trials. Sweat sodium concentration was reduced on the second day in summer but not in winter. The data predict average losses over a work shift of 10-15g of sodium chloride. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Jan. 2008, Vol.3, No.4, 6p. Illus. 14 ref.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2267797/pdf/1745-6673-3-4.pdf [in English]
Cold haemagglutinin disease misdiagnosed as hand-arm vibration syndrome
A patient with a diagnosis of hand-arm vibration syndrome was referred for a second opinion. He worked as a multi-skilled operative in the housing department of a local authority, a job not normally associated with high levels of exposure to hand-transmitted vibration. He described blanching of his fingers and a blue colouration of his extremities in cold weather. On examination, his fingertips, toes and pinnae were acrocyanotic, the fingers were patchily pale and sensation was subjectively impaired in all of the digits. Investigations revealed a haemolytic anaemia and haemagglutination. He was diagnosed with idiopathic cold haemagglutinin disease. Exposure to vibration may confound with exposure to cold in which case the diagnoses of cold haemagglutinin disease or cryoglobulinaemia should be excluded before diagnosing hand-arm vibration syndrome.
Occupational Medicine, Mar. 2008, Vol.58, No.3, p.219-221. 11 ref.
http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/58/3/219 [in English]
Laroudie S., Vuillaume M.
Contributions of heart rate measurements on asbestos removal sites under thermal constraints - Feedback
Apport de la cardiofréquencemétrie sur des chantiers de désamiantage sous contrainte thermique - Retour d'expérience [in French]
This study presents the findings of cardiofrequency measurements on asbestos removal sites during particularly difficult thermal environmental conditions and specific constraints. Following a literature survey on working under hot conditions, the article presents the protocol developed for heart rate monitoring on asbestos removal sites. It explains the choice of indicators retained for the direct interpretation of the graphs and the practical monitoring of workers. The descriptive and retrospective study includes 173 graphs highlighting the physically and thermally strenuous nature of asbestos removal work, particularly above 45°C. Several criteria that modify the heart rate were observed and are described.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, Dec. 2008, No.116, p.513-520. Illus. 10 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TF%20176/$File/TF176.pdf [in French]
Drolet D., Dessureault P.C.
Computer-based tools for thermal stress management
Utilitaires informatiques pour la gestion des contraintes thermiques [in French]
Quebec occupational safety and health regulations (RSST) specify permissible exposure values (PEVs) for heat, based on the WBGT index. Their measurement requires technical means that are not always available in workplaces. To help manage thermal stress, the Occupational safety and health commission (CSST) published a heat stroke prevention guide in 2003 that contains a calculation process leading to a corrected air temperature (CAT) that does not require any special instrumentation. This report describes the research efforts leading to the development of a computer-based tool for estimating the CAT for use by occupational hygienists.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2008. iv, 20p. Illus. 8 ref. Price: CAD 6.30. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-591.pdf [in French]
Choi J.W., Kim M.J., Lee J.Y.
Alleviation of heat strain by cooling different body areas during red pepper harvest work at WBGT 33°C
The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of various types of personal cooling equipment (PCE) on the alleviation of heat strain during red pepper harvest simulated in a climatic chamber. Twelve subjects worked in a climatic chamber with a WBGT of 33°C, simulating the conditions for harvesting red pepper. Eight PCE conditions were tested involving various combinations of cooling scarves, vests and hats. It was found that a vest with a cooling area of only 3.3% body surface area was effective in alleviating heat strain in a simulated harvest work. Other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, Nov. 2008, Vol.46, No.6, p.620-628. Illus. 32 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/pdf/IH_46_6_620.pdf [in English]
Ren C., Williams G.M., Morawska L., Mengersen K., Tong S.
Ozone modifies associations between temperature and cardiovascular mortality: Analysis of the NMMAPS data
This study aims to explore the modifications by ozone of the associations between maximum temperature and cardiovascular mortality (CVM), using data from the United States National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS). Poisson regression models were used to examine these associations in 95 regions of the United States during 1987-2000 from June to September. A response surface model was used to examine the joint effects of temperature and ozone on CVM in summer. Results show that the higher the ozone concentration, the stronger the temperature-CVM associations. A 10°C increase in temperature on the same day was associated with an increase in CVM by 1.17% and 8.31% for the lowest and highest level of ozone concentrations in all communities, respectively.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2008, Vol.65, No.4, p.255-260. Illus. 39 ref.
Carder M., McNamee R., Beverland I., Elton R., Van Tongeren M., Cohen G.R., Boyd J., MacNee W., Agius R.M.
Interacting effects of particulate pollution and cold temperature on cardiorespiratory mortality in Scotland
In this study Poisson regression models were used to investigate the relationship between lagged black smoke concentration and daily mortality, and whether the effect of black smoke on cardiorespiratory mortality was modified by cold temperature for three Scottish cities from January 1981 to December 2001. For all-cause respiratory and non-cardiorespiratory mortality, there was a significant association between mortality and lagged black smoke concentration. Generally the maximum black smoke effect occurred at lag 0, although these estimates were not statistically significant. A 10µg/m3 increase in the daily mean black smoke concentration on any given day was associated with a 1.68% increase in all-cause mortality and a 0.43%, 5.36% and 2.13% increase in cardiovascular, respiratory and non-cardiorespiratory mortality, respectively, over the ensuing 30-day period. The results of this study suggest a greater effect of black smoke on mortality at low temperatures. Since extremes of cold and particulate pollution may coexist, for example during temperature inversion, these results may have important public health implications.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2008, Vol.65, No.3, p.197-204. Illus. 34 ref.
A review of the criteria for people exposure to radiant heat flux from fires
This article reviews the available literature on skin burns caused by radiant heat exposure. The associated thermal and spectral properties of human skin are discussed. The basis for the United States regulatory setting of 5kW/m2 for evaluating distances for the exposure of persons to radiant heat effects of large fires is discussed. An example calculation is provided to show the extent of reduction in the hazard distance to specified radiant heat flux from a fire when the spectral reflection and absorption properties of skin are considered, with and without the inclusion of the mitigating effects of clothing. The results indicate that hazard distances calculated including the reflective and band absorptive properties (in IR wavelength) of skin results in a reduction of between 30 and 50% in the hazard distances obtained using the current methodology.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Nov. 2008, Vol.159, No.1, p.61-71. Illus. 28 ref.
Runyan C.W., Vladutiu C.J., Rauscher K.J., Schulman M.
Teen workers' exposures to occupational hazards and use of personal protective equipment
Prior research indicates that working adolescents seek care for the toxic effects of on-the-job chemical and environmental exposures. This cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of 866 adolescent workers in the retail and service sector examines their exposures, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and training. Two-thirds of the respondents were exposed to continuous, very loud noise, 55% to thermal hazards and 54% to chemical hazards. Few teens reported using any PPE, though those who had been trained reported somewhat higher usage. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.51, No.10, p.735-740. Illus. 23 ref.
Weather conditions - How to protect yourself against heat waves
Conditions météorologiques - Comment se protéger des grandes chaleurs [in French]
Heat stroke risks can be present on construction sites whenever the temperature exceeds 30°C. Site managers are responsible for evaluating the situation, checking weather forecasts and implementing protective measures against heat strokes by acting at various levels, including the portable facilities unit, work organization, and personal and collective protective equipment.
Prévention BTP, July-Aug. 2008, No.109, p.32-33. Illus.
Ashley C.D., Luecke C.L., Schwartz S.S., Islam M.Z., Bernard T.E.
Heat strain at the critical WBGT and the effects of gender, clothing and metabolic rate
Twenty nine participants (20 men and 9 women) walked on a treadmill at a moderate metabolic rate, wearing five different clothing ensembles. Furthermore, a subset of 15 participants (11 men and 4 women) completed trials for all ensembles at low and high metabolic rates, using a progressive heat stress protocol. The critical WBGT (WBGTcrit) was defined as being the WBGT index 5min prior to a loss of thermal equilibrium and represents the upper limit of thermoregulatory control. As expected, there was an ensemble effect and metabolic rate effect for WBGTcrit. The metabolic rate also had significant effects on heat strain. After adjustment, there was no gender effect for WBGTcrit or skin temperature. There were, however, significant gender effects for heart rate, core temperature and physiological strain index. Other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, July 2008, Vol.38, No.7-8, p.640-644. Illus. 25 ref.
Creating a pipeline to heat stress prevention
In the United States in 2005, 47 workers died from exposure to environmental heat and five died from contact with a hot object or substance. There are three types of heat stress: heat cramps (cramps in extremities, especially legs); heat exhaustion (dizziness, weakness, fainting, nausea, headache, cold and clammy skin, dry tongue, thirst); heat stroke (high body temperature, decreased level of consciousness, change in behaviour, not sweating, red or pale skin, elevated heart rate and rapid breathing). When heat cramps and heat exhaustion are not treated rapidly, the situation can escalate to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening illness. This article discusses the prevention of heat stress among workers in the petrochemical industry. It emphasizes the importance of monitoring work environment temperatures, work breaks and the consumption of fluids.
Occupational Hazards, May 2008, Vol.70, No.5, p.41-43. Illus.
Miller V., Bates G.
Hydration of outdoor workers in north-west Australia
The consequences of work environmental heat stress include reduced safety due to impaired concentration, decreased work capacity and heat-related illness. Maintaining adequate hydration is the most important measure to counteract the effects of thermal stress. In this study, the hydration of groups of outdoor workers at opencast mine sites and related facilities was assessed. Urine specific gravity was used as an indication of hydration levels. Fluid intake was monitored and fluid balance studies were carried out to assess the rate of sweat loss. The majority of workers were found to be inadequately hydrated. Most were hypohydrated at the commencement of the shift, and fluid intakes were, in general, well below those required to replace fluid losses, let alone improve hydration. Recommendations are given for maintaining adequate hydration of workers in hot conditions.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Feb. 2007, Vol.23, No.1, p.79-87. Illus. 14 ref.
Inaba R., Mirbod S.M.
Comparison of subjective symptoms and hot prevention measures in summer between traffic control workers and construction workers in Japan
A survey on heat-related subjective symptoms and protection measures against heat during outdoor work in summer was conducted among 204 traffic control workers and 115 construction workers, all male, in Japan. Their workloads were estimated at relative metabolic rates of 1-2 and 2-4, respectively. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on age, occupational career, working habit, present or past history of diseases, individual preventive measures to the heat, and subjective symptoms during summer. Findings are discussed. Some preventive countermeasures to improve working conditions in outdoor work environments are presented.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2007, Vol.45, No.1, p.91-99. Illus. 33 ref.
Heat stress standard for hot work environments in Japan
Threshold limit values (TLVs) are normally defined to protect workers from the severest effects of thermal stress and to establish the exposures to heat in working environments. The criteria have been mainly set for working in mines and factories. However, acute heat strokes sometimes occur in outdoor work environments such as construction and agriculture. Furthermore, Japan has a very hot and humid climate during summer. The WBGT index is a useful evaluation value for hot environments and should be used as a standard during summer. Humidity also constitutes a problem in indoor workplaces. Therefore, it is proposed that TLVs for thermal conditions be defined according to seasons and physical workload.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2007, Vol.45, No.1, p.85-90. Illus. 21 ref.
Occupational exposure to cold
L'exposition professionnelle au froid [in French]
Each year, the exposure of workers to cold work environments causes numerous occupational accidents across many sectors of activity. Many could have been avoided by implementing suitable preventive measures. This article summarizes the legal responsibilities of employers with respect to hazard evaluation and preventive measures for work in cold environments. It also explains the hazards of exposure to cold and how to evaluate thermal strain, the energy consumed by workers and the insulating properties of protective clothing supplied to workers.
Santé et Sécurité au Travail Actualités, Nov.-Dec. 2007, No.105. p.5-6, 12.
Chojnacka A., Sudoł-Szopińska I.
Standardization aspects of thermal comfort in office areas
Komfort termiczny w pomieszczeniach biurowych w aspekcie norm [in Polish]
It is known that providing thermal comfort to employees by means of adjustment and control of the relevant environmental parameters results in a decrease in the number of errors and accidents, and an increase in productivity and quality of products and services. According to a report published by the European Agency for the Safety and Health at Work, thermal discomfort is an important physical risk factor in the work environment. The possibilities of analysing the thermal comfort in the work environment according to various Polish and European standards are discussed, together with the design of buildings while taking into account thermal comfort criteria.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, June 2007, No.6 (429), p.16-19. 11 ref.
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