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Effects of workplace thermal conditions on safe work behavior.
Ramsey JD; Burford CL; Beshir MY; Jensen RC
J Saf Res 1983 Sep; 14(3):105-114
Correlations between safety related worker behavior and thermal conditions in the workplace were investigated in two industrial facilities. Heat exposure measurements were taken and behavioral observations were made over a 14 month period for a total of 17,000 observations. Data was collected regarding: day of the week; time of observation; date; outside ambient temperature conditions; machine/work station number; observed safe or unsafe behaviors and conditions; estimated employee workload at time of observation; and a set of thermal measures. Independent variables included ambient temperature, workload, job risk group, period of the day, and day of the week. The dependent variable was a measure of unsafe behavior. Temperatures below and above those typically preferred by most people had a significantly detrimental effect on the safety related behavior of workers. The minimum unsafe behavior index occurred within a zone of preferred temperature, which was approximately 17 to 23 degrees-C. Other factors such as workload and time during shift also had significant effects on safety behavior. The authors conclude that the thermal environment of the workplace has significant influences on the safety behavior of workers.
NIOSH-Author; Health-hazards; Work-analysis; Thermal-radiation; Occupational-hazards; Health-protection; Hazards; Thermal-properties; Workers; Safety-research; Occupations; Industrial-environment
Issue of Publication
Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division