Evaluating the Physiological and Perceptual Responses of Wearing a Newly Designed Cooling Vest for Construction Workers

Yijie Zhao, Wen Yi, Albert P C Chan, Francis K W Wong, Michael C H Yam
Annals of Work Exposures and Health 2017 August 1, 61 (7): 883-901
Construction workers are subjected to heat stress because of the hot environment, physically demanding tasks, and/or personal protective equipment. A tailor-made cooling vest that protects construction workers from heat-related injuries was developed. The purpose of the study is to examine a newly designed cooling vest's effectiveness in alleviating physiological and perceptual strain in a hot and humid environment. Twelve male participants performed two trials, i.e., cooling vest (VEST) and control (CON) in a climatic chamber controlled at 37°C temperature, 60% relative humidity, 0.3 m/s air velocity, and 450 W/m2 solar radiation to simulate the summer working environment of construction sites. Two bouts of treadmill exercise intermitted with 30-minute passive recovery were designed to simulate the practical work-rest schedule of the construction industry. The cooling vest was used during the passive recovery period in the VEST condition, and the results were compared with that of no cooling vest in the CON condition. The results revealed that the newly designed cooling vest can significantly alleviate heat strain and improve thermal comfort, based on the decrease in body temperature, heart rate, and subjective perceptions (including perceived exertion, thermal, wetness, and comfort sensation) of the participants. It can also prolong work duration in the subsequent exercise. The cooling countermeasures proposed in this study will be able to provide an effective solution in situations that involve repeated bouts of outdoor construction work.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"