Heat Stress among Steel Workers in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Background: Workers working in the steel industry has commonly exposed to heat which lead to health risk. The objective of this study was to assess heat stress among steel production workers. Materials and Methods: It is a cross sectional study, 186 workers were selected through simple random sampling. There are two groups of workers staff and line production. The Wet Bulb Global Temperature (WBGT) index was measured from Heat Stress Monitor (Casella Micro herm WBGT) and Heat Strain Score Index (HSSI). Spearmen correlation for determine the correlation between WBGT and HSSI and association between risk factors and HSSI determined through logistic regression. Results: The mean and SD values of the wet bulb global temperature was 32.46 (2.01) and these values exceed Threshold Limit Values (TLV by American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) standard and HSSI scores showed that 24.3% of the exposed workers were in red dangerous zone (severe heat strain). The WBGT and HSSI values are positively correlated (r = 0.85) (P = 0.001). Risk factors associated with heat stress after adjustment are age 19-35 years (OR 6.07, CI 1.78-21.90), years of experience >10 years (OR 4.67. CI 1.23-18.42), ever smoking (OR 1.58, CI 1.08-4.57) and overweight (OR 1.56, CI 1.20-12.48). Conclusion: The finding of this study showed that heat stress is common hazard among steel workers and the heat conservation planning intervention action should be conducted to reduce exposure.
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