Exposure to hot environments of horticultural greenhouses workers of the center of Calabria: evaluative comparison methods


  • Maurizio Diano INAIL - Dipartimento di Medicina, Ergonomia, Igiene del Lavoro ed Ambientale Centro Ricerche Lamezia Terme
  • Marco Valentini INAIL - Dipartimento di Medicina, Ergonomia, Igiene del Lavoro ed Ambientale Centro Ricerche Lamezia Terme
  • Pasquale Samele INAIL - Dipartimento di Medicina, Ergonomia, Igiene del Lavoro ed Ambientale Centro Ricerche Lamezia Terme
  • Ignazio Di Gesu INAIL - Dipartimento di Medicina, Ergonomia, Igiene del Lavoro ed Ambientale Centro Ricerche Lamezia Terme




Heat stress, WBGT, PHS, Vegetable greenhouses


We have investigated about the heat stress of workers in vegetable greenhouses located in the southern of Italy. This type of production technique is very widespread in the region and so is useful search the evaluation model that can better describe the condition of risk. We have investigated on WBGT index and on PHS model in order to check which of the two models is more functional and applicable to the specific context. The research allowed bringing out lights and shadows of the two predictive models. In the first place, we have verified that, although in the vegetable greenhouses there is a vertical gradient of temperature, is sufficient to make measures in the middle height (abdomen) to describe the microclimatic condition of occupants. Second, we have verified that to evaluate the WBGT index is necessary refer to an exposition as an external environment, not confined. With statistical data obtained from measures conducted over all seasons except winter, we have valued that the summer time is very dangerous especially in the middle time of days. After we have focused our attention to verify some of the results obtained with WBGT temperature and in particular some cases in which the temperature appears to be under the limit value. The verification has been conducted applying the PHS model considering two workers with different weight, height, metabolic rate and clothing insulation. We have found that there is a risk even in these cases in function of the working time inside vegetable greenhouses. Therefore, we concluded that WBGT index is reliable for such cases in which the risk is assessed but in some cases it may give rise to false negatives.


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