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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4

The effect of evaporative cooling vests on the physiological and perceptual strain indices of construction workers

Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Habibollah Dehghan
Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijehe.ijehe_50_20

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Aim: One of the most harmful agents in construction sites is heat exposure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of new evaporative cooling vests in construction workers. Materials and Methods: This case–control study was implemented on 60 construction workers in hot conditions (air temperature 49.0°, relative humidity 5.5%) in the summer of 2019. In this study, 30 people with cooling vests (case group) and 30 people without cooling vests (control group) were working for 120 min in a hot environment. In both groups, heart rate oral temperature and wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index were measured. Moreover, the Perceptual Strain Index (PeSI) and Heat Strain Score Index (HSSI) questionnaires were completed by the workers. Data were analyzed after inter to SPSS16 software. Results: All of the WBGT values were higher than occupational exposure limit. The mean and standard deviation (SD) of the work heart rate in the case and control groups, was equal to 111.1 ± 7.6 beats per minute (bpm) and 114.3 ± 7.9 bpm respectively (P < 0.05). Also the average and SD of the oral temperature in the case and control groups, respectively, was equal to 36.36 ± 0.41 and 36.37 ± 0.55. There was no statistically significant difference. Mean and SD of Physiological Strain Index (PSI), in case and control groups, were 2.53 ± 0.66 and 3.64 ± 0.81, respectively. The mean and SD of the PeSI and the HSSI in the case group were 4.64 ± 0.79 and 10.12 ± 1.71, respectively, and in the control group, 6.41 ± 0.85 and 15.88 ± 0.1.43. Statistically, the difference between PSI, PeSI, and HSSI means was significant. Conclusions: This study results showed that hot environmental conditions were stressful for construction workers and also Iranian evaporative cooling vests (Hifitcool brand) were able to reduce perceptual and physiological heat strain in construction workers in the hot conditions.

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