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Title: Which environmental indicator is better able to predict the effects of heat stress on construction workers?
Authors: Yi, W 
Chan, APC 
Issue Date: 9-Jan-2014
Source: Journal of management in engineering, 10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000284 (Jan. 9, 2014)
Abstract: Extremely hot and humid environments are common in numerous occupational settings. Construction work is tough and physically demanding, and the difficulty is exacerbated by the hot and humid weather of tropical and subtropical regions. Having established heat stress models through different environmental indicators, this study aims to ascertain which environmental indicator would be better able to predict the effects of heat stress on construction workers. Field studies were conducted during summer in Hong Kong from July 2011 to August 2011. Physiological, work-related, environmental, and personal parameters were measured to validate the established heat stress models on the basis of 411 sets of synchronized meteorological and physiological data collected from construction workers in two different construction sites. The mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) and Theil's U inequality coefficient were used to assess these models in terms of predictive accuracy. Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) was found to have the highest validity (MAPE = 6.5%, Theil's U inequality coefficient = 0.05) and practicality in predicting the effects of heat stress on construction workers. Specific heat stress guidelines can be formulated based on WBGT, which can protect well the health and safety of site personnel working in hot and humid weather conditions.
Keywords: Hot and humid climate
Construction workers
Environmental indicator
Heat stress model
Heat tolerance time
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Journal: Journal of management in engineering 
ISSN: 0742-597X
EISSN: 1943-5479
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000284
Rights: Copyright 2014 by the American Society of Civil Engineers
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Management in Engineering. The article is available at
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