Estimation of the risks of thermal stress due to the microclimate for manual fruit and vegetable harvesters in central Italy

Cecchini, M; Colantoni, A; Massantini, R; Monarca, D (2010). Estimation of the risks of thermal stress due to the microclimate for manual fruit and vegetable harvesters in central Italy. Journal of agricultural safety and health, 16(3), pp. 141-59. St. Joseph, Mich.: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers ASABE

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Agricultural workers are exposed to various risks, including chemical agents, noise, and many other factors. One of the most characteristic and least known risk factors is constituted by the microclimatic conditions in the different phases of work (in field, in greenhouse, etc). A typical condition is thermal stress due to high temperatures during harvesting operations in open fields or in greenhouses. In Italy, harvesting is carried out for many hours during the day, mainly in the summer, with temperatures often higher than 30 degrees C. According to ISO 7243, these conditions can be considered dangerous for workers' health. The aim of this study is to assess the risks of exposure to microclimatic conditions (heat) for fruit and vegetable harvesters in central Italy by applying methods established by international standards. In order to estimate the risk for workers, the air temperature, radiative temperature, and air speed were measured using instruments in conformity with ISO 7726. Thermodynamic parameters and two more subjective parameters, clothing and the metabolic heat production rate related to the worker's physical activity, were used to calculate the predicted heat strain (PHS) for the exposed workers in conformity with ISO 7933. Environmental and subjective parameters were also measured for greenhouse workers, according to ISO 7243, in order to calculate the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT). The results show a slight risk for workers during manual harvesting in the field. On the other hand, the data collected in the greenhouses show that the risk for workers must not be underestimated. The results of the study show that, for manual harvesting work in climates similar to central Italy, it is essential to provide plenty of drinking water and acclimatization for the workers in order to reduce health risks. Moreover, the study emphasizes that the possible health risks for greenhouse workers increase from the month of April through July.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Urology

UniBE Contributor:

Cecchini, Marco Giovanni

ISSN:

1074-7583

Publisher:

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers ASABE

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:10

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:05

PubMed ID:

20836436

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/1246 (FactScience: 202400)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback