20 Δεκ Risk assessment for heat stress during work and leisure – Chapter 32
Ioannou L.G., Gkikas G., Mantzios K., Tsoutsoubi L., Flouris A.D. Risk assessment for heat stress during work and leisure – Chapter 32. Toxicological Risk Assessment and Multi-System Health Impacts from Exposure 2021, Pages 373-385.
Rising environmental temperatures have become a growing challenge for societies across the globe. At the same time, occupational heat strain undermines the health and productivity of individuals working in key industries.
In this chapter, we combine a narrative review with observational studies to outline the 18 factors affecting the risk for experiencing heat strain during work and leisure, which are: acclimatization, aging, anthropometrics, clothing, cultural habits, diet, disabilities, drugs and addictions, environmental stress, ethnicity, heat mitigation, medical conditions, metabolic demands, physical fitness, sex, sleep deprivation, work duration, and work experience.
Addressing these risk factors will generate significant savings to healthcare systems from the occupational heat illness, absenteeism, and mortality associated with heat strain. Increased efforts should be made to educate individuals and organizations about the health, performance, and productivity risks related to heat strain and appropriate screening protocols should be incorporated within health and safety legislation.