Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/1803
Title: Estimation of the risks of thermal stress due to the microclimate for manual fruit and vegetable harvesters in central Italy
Authors: Cecchini, Massimo
Colantoni, Andrea
Massantini, Riccardo
Monarca, Danilo
Keywords: Heat stress;Hot environments;Greenhouses;Microclimate
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
Source: Cecchini, M. et al. 2010. Estimation of the Risks of Thermal Stress Due to the Microclimate for Manual Fruit and Vegetable Harvesters in Central Italy. "Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health" 16(3): 141-159
Abstract: 
Agricultural workers are exposed to various risks, including chemical
agents, noise, and many other factors. One of the most characteristic and least known
risk factors is constituted by the microclimatic conditions in the different phases of
work (in field, in greenhouse, etc). A typical condition is thermal stress due to high
temperatures during harvesting operations in open fields or in greenhouses. In Italy,
harvesting is carried out for many hours during the day, mainly in the summer, with
temperatures often higher than 30°C. According to ISO 7243, these conditions can be
considered dangerous for workers’ health. The aim of this study is to assess the risks
of exposure to microclimatic conditions (heat) for fruit and vegetable harvesters in
central Italy by applying methods established by international standards. In order to
estimate the risk for workers, the air temperature, radiative temperature, and air
speed were measured using instruments in conformity with ISO 7726. Thermodynamic
parameters and two more subjective parameters, clothing and the metabolic heat production
rate related to the worker’s physical activity, were used to calculate the predicted
heat strain (PHS) for the exposed workers in conformity with ISO 7933. Environmental
and subjective parameters were also measured for greenhouse workers,
according to ISO 7243, in order to calculate the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT).
The results show a slight risk for workers during manual harvesting in the field. On
the other hand, the data collected in the greenhouses show that the risk for workers
must not be underestimated. The results of the study show that, for manual harvesting
work in climates similar to central Italy, it is essential to provide plenty of drinking
water and acclimatization for the workers in order to reduce health risks. Moreover,
the study emphasizes that the possible health risks for greenhouse workers increase
from the month of April through July.
Description: 
L'articolo è disponibile sul sito dell'editore http://www.asabe.org/
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/1803
ISSN: 1074-7583
Appears in Collections:GEMINI - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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