Impacts of cooling intervention on the heat strain attenuation of construction workers

Yijie Zhao, Wen Yi, Albert P.C. Chan, Del P. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and practicality of a cooling intervention with a newly designed cooling vest on heat strain attenuation in the construction industry. Fourteen construction workers volunteered to participate in the field study. Each participant took part in two trials, i.e., cooling and control. Construction work included morning and afternoon sessions. Cooling intervention was implemented for 15 and 30 min during the morning and afternoon rest periods, respectively, between repeated bouts of work. Micrometeorological (wet-bulb globe temperature [WBGT]), physiological (tympanic temperature and heart rate), and perceptual (ratings of perceived exertion [RPE] and thermal sensation) measurements were taken during the test. Heat strain indices, including physiological strain index (PSIHR) and perceptual strain index (PeSI), were estimated accordingly. During the study, construction workers were exposed to a hot environment with a mean WBGT of 31.56 ± 1.87 °C. Compared with the control, physiological and perceptual strain were significantly reduced in the cooling condition during rest and subsequent work periods (p < 0.05; d = 0.24–1.07, small to large cooling effect). Cooling intervention significantly alleviates heat strain in the construction industry. The effectiveness and practicality of a proposed cooling intervention were tested in a field study. Results provide a reference for setting guidelines and promoting application on a range of construction sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1634
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Construction industry
  • Cooling intervention
  • Physiological and perceptual strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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