Objectives: The objective of this study has been to evaluate the occupational heat exposure of 12 workers at 5 plants in a subtropical country. Material and Methods: The heat stresses and strain on workers in 5 plants were assessed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 7243 index (wet bulb globe temperature - WBGT) and the ISO 7933 index (maximum allowable exposure time - D-lim). Results: Results indicated that 42% of the subjects (5 workers) surpassed the WBGT limits. According to the Dlim, 42% of the subjects could not continue working in the hot environments. The relationships between the various heat stress indices and the WBGT index were also correlated. However, further studies from different heat environments and more subjects should be performed. Conclusions: The sensitive dependence of skin temperature on meteorological and physiological indices for each subject was clearly observed. Obviously, the heart rate response to metabolic rate was much greater than that caused by environmental heat alone. The exponential relationship between workers' duration-limited exposure time, predicted by various estimated criteria, and WBGT were also found.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, v.30, n.3, pp.379-395