Evaluation of a cooling vest in four industries in Hong Kong

Ping Chuen Chan, K.W. Wong, Y. Li, D.P. Wong, Y.P. Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of body cooling effects via a cooling vest with two fans and three gel packs. Physiological responses and subjective perceptions during daily routine work about 2 hours in four industries in Hong Kong with heat exposure were measured. The results showed that wearing cooling vest significantly reduced the increase in body temperature and heart rate for workers, and maintained body ear temperature’s steadiness, i.e. 36.95 ± 0.10 (SEM), 36.08 ± 0.10, 36.17 ± 0.09 and 36.07 ± 0.10 °C for workers in (1) construction, (2) horticulture and outdoor cleaning, (3) airport apron, and (4) catering and kitchen industries, respectively. Mean perceived movement comfort/performance restriction showed no significant difference among the four industries. Workers in the construction industry had a relatively lower score of thermophysiological, sensory/tactile and fit comforts, practicality and preference, as compared with workers in other industries. Overall comfort correlated positively with perceived thermophysiological, sensory/tactile and fit comforts. Workers’ preference was strongly correlated with practicality (r = 0.83) and overall comfort (r = 0.75). The findings suggest that the cooling vest provided effective cooling to maintain comfortable body temperature, which has profound influences on the subjective perceptions. The study’s outcome could contribute to the practical application of a cooling vest for construction workers, and other occupations which would be subject to a high level of heat stress like firefighters, miners, and military force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-691
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of civil engineering and architecture research
Volume2
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Four industries in Hong Kong
  • Hot environmental conditions
  • Heat stress
  • Cooling vest
  • Body temperatures
  • Subjective perceptions
  • Thermal comfort

Cite this