Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a newly designed hybrid cooling vest for construction workers in alleviating heat stress. Method: Two types of cooling vests, namely, a commonly worn Vest A and a newly designed Vest B, were tested in a climatic chamber environment (34.0°C temperature, 60% relative humidity, and 0.4 m s-1air velocity) using a sweating thermal manikin. Four test scenarios were included: fan off with no phase change materials (PCMs) (Fan-off), fan on with no PCMs (Fan-on), fan off with completely solidified PCMs (PCM + Fan-off), and fan on with completely solidified PCMs (PCM + Fan-on). Result: Test results showed that Vests A and B provided a continuous cooling effect during the 3-h test. The average cooling power for the torso region of Vest B was 67 W, which was higher than that of Vest A (56 W). The addition of PCMs offered a cooling effect of approximately 60 min. Ventilation fans considerably improved the evaporative heat loss compared with the Fan-off condition. Conclusion: The newly designed hybrid cooling vest (Vest B) may be an effective means to reduce heat strain and enhance work performance in a hot and humid environment.
- Construction workers
- Hybrid cooling vest
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health