D3.3: Report on solutions to mitigate heat stress for workers of the manufacturing sector: technical report
Kajfez Bogataj, L.
In this report, strategies and technologies are screened for their potential to predict heat issues and mitigate the negative effects of occupational heat stress during heat waves, thereby maintaining workers’ health and well-being, and productivity. The present paper focus specifically on heat stress in the manufacturing sector while we refer to the parallel papers for industry specific issues in agriculture, tourism, transport and construction. Considering that workers in the manufacturing industry mainly work indoors (and in settings where industrial heat may interfere with the environmental factors of importance) a first step in providing timely alert (and associated advice systems) was developing a model that would allow for prediction of the actual indoor heat stress based on weather forecasts. The thermal conditions may vary a lot across workstations (even within one manufacturing plant) and for assessment of the individual heat load, it is suggested that a network of temperature and relative humidity sensors are installed in critical regions of the manufacturing process. The effect of the external environment on the internal/individual work conditions can then be analysed and used to train a neural network model to accurately predict heat stress, based on short-range weather forecasts. Such a tool can serve as an early warning system capable of predicting the effect of impending heat waves on the health and well-being of workers, and ability to perform work.
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European Union, Brussels