Dressing behavior of construction workers in hot and humid weather

Albert P.C. Chan, Yang Yang, Francis K.W. Wong, Michael C.H. Yam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Construction workers in Hong Kong face high health risks of heat stress, solar ultraviolet radiation, and hazardous substances. A suitable work wear can lower exposure to these hazards, but the actual dressing behavior of construction workers remains unknown.

OBJECTIVE: This study examines the current dressing patterns of construction workers and evaluates their limitations.

METHODS: The dressing patterns of construction workers were investigated through unconcealed videotaped observation and questionnaire survey to enhance the reliability and validity of this research.

RESULTS: Results indicate that construction workers were willing to wear short-sleeved shirts for a cooler feeling, although such dressing patterns may not protect them against solar ultraviolet radiation or hazardous substances. Their preferred dark-colored long pants can decrease the direct exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation and hazardous substances, but they absorb a large amount of radiation heat that increases the hazards of heat stress to the wearers.

CONCLUSIONS: Thermal-related attributes were the most significant concerns of construction workers, which serve as key elements for designing appropriate work clothes for construction workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalOccupational Ergonomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Construction workers
  • current dressing patterns
  • dressing behavior
  • work clothing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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