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Assessment of Cold Stress and Its Effects on Workers in a Cold-Storage Warehouse

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Author(s): Farideh Golbabaei | Mohammad–Hossein Sajadi | Keramat Nouri Jelyani | Farhang Akbar-Khanzadeh

Journal: International Journal of Occupational Hygiene
ISSN 2008-5109

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Cold stress | Insulation required indices | Food-storage warehouse | Iran

ABSTRACT
Exposure to cold work environment is an occupational health hazard and poses adverse effect on workers health, performance and productivity. This study was performed in a cold food-storage warehouse complex in Tehran-Iran in order to evaluate the workers' exposure to cold stress. Twenty nine exposed workers and 33 non-exposed workers as control subject were included in this study. Climatic factors were measured based on ISO 7996 at the three levels of workers height. Physiological factors including skin temperature (ISO 9886), oral temperature (ISO 9886) blood pressure, pulse rate, workload (ISO 8996) were determined. Cloth insulation was estimated according to ISO 9920. The IREQ (IREQneut and IREQmin) were calculated following ISO/TR 11079 guidelines, and then, IREQ indices were compared with estimated cloth insulation through t-test. IREQmin in locations with above and below 0°C was 1.7 and 3.63 clo, respectively. Exposed and control subjects had similar blood chemistry and physiological factors. The skin temperature in the extremities was considerably lower in the exposed subjects. The rate of pain (mostly in the knees, musculoskeletal, and pleurodynia) and skin cooling were higher in the exposed subjects. Lower skin temperature in the extremities and pain in the knees, musculoskeletal, and pleurodynia were the major health issues in this cold food-storage facility.

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