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Indicators to assess physiological heat strain – Part 2: Delphi exercise

journal contribution
posted on 31.03.2022, 12:34 authored by Leonidas G Ioannou, Petros C Dinas, Sean R Notley, Flora Gofa, George A Gourzoulidis, Matt Brearley, Yoram Epstein, George HavenithGeorge Havenith, Michael N Sawka, Peter Bröde, Igor B Mekjavic, Glen P Kenny, Thomas E Bernard, Lars Nybo, Andreas D Flouris
In a series of three companion papers published in this Journal, we identify and validate the available thermal stress indicators (TSIs). In this second paper of the series, we identified the criteria to consider when adopting a TSI to protect individuals who work in the heat, and we weighed their relative importance using a Delphi exercise with 20 experts. Two Delphi iterations were adequate to reach consensus within the expert panel (Cronbach’s α = 0.86) for a set of 17 criteria with varying weights that should be considered when adopting a TSI to protect individuals who work in the heat. These criteria considered physiological parameters such as core/skin/mean body temperature, heart rate, and hydration status, as well as practicality, cost effectiveness, and health guidance issues. The 17 criteria were distributed across three occupational health-and-safety pillars: (i) contribution to improving occupational health (55% of total importance), (ii) mitigation of worker physiological strain (35.5% of total importance), and (iii) cost-effectiveness (9.5% of total importance). Three criteria [(i) relationship of a TSI with core temperature, (ii) having categories indicating the level of heat stress experienced by workers, and (iii) using its heat stress categories to provide recommendations for occupational safety and health] were considered significantly more important when selecting a TSI for protecting individuals who work in the heat, accumulating 37.2 percentage points. These 17 criteria allow the validation and comparison of TSIs that presently exist as well as those that may be developed in the coming years.

Funding

European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [project HEAT-SHIELD; Grant agreement No 668786]

History

School

  • Design and Creative Arts

Department

  • Design

Published in

Temperature

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor & Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Temperature on 27 Mar 2022, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/23328940.2022.2044738.

Acceptance date

16/02/2022

Publication date

2022-03-27

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

2332-8940

eISSN

2332-8959

Language

en

Depositor

Prof George Havenith. Deposit date: 28 March 2022