Applicability of Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) in occupational heat stress assessment: a case study in Brick industries

The present study aimed to investigate the applicability of Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) as an innovative and science-based index in public health researches, in occupational heat stress assessment. All indoor and outdoor workers (200 people) of Brick industries of Shahroud, Iran were participated in the research. First, the environmental variables such as air temperature, wet-bulb temperature, globe temperature, air velocity and relative humidity were measured; then UTCI and WBGT (wet-bulb globe temperature) indices were calculated. Simultaneously, physiological parameters including systolic and diastolic blood pressure, oral temperature, skin temperature, tympanic temperature and heart rate of workers were measured. UTCI and WBGT indices were 34.2 ± 2°C, 21.8 ± 1.8°C in the outdoor environments and 38.1 ± 4.4°C, 24.7 ± 3.3°C at the indoor environments, respectively. There were the weak inverse relationships between UTCI and WBGT indices at the outdoor environments and physiological responses such as systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. However, there were no similar results for indoor environments. The significant relationships were found between UTCI and WBGT at both indoor and outdoor environments. Both UTCI and WBGT indices are suitable for assessing the occupational heat stress. The authors concluded that UTCI index seems more appropriate for heat stress assessment in the environments with low humidity and air velocity.

Authors: Vatani J, Golbabaei F, Farhang Dehghan S, Yousefi A. ;Full Source: Industrial Health. 2015 Aug 28. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]