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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 27;16(7). pii: E1090. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071090.

Heat Stress Perception among Native and Migrant Workers in Italian Industries-Case Studies from the Construction and Agricultural Sectors.

Author information

1
Centre of Bioclimatology (CIBIC), University of Florence (UNIFI), 50144 Florence, Italy. alessandro.messeri@unifi.it.
2
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence (UNIFI), 50144 Florence, Italy. alessandro.messeri@unifi.it.
3
Centre of Bioclimatology (CIBIC), University of Florence (UNIFI), 50144 Florence, Italy. m.morabito@ibimet.cnr.it.
4
Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council (IBIMET-CNR), 50145 Florence, Italy. m.morabito@ibimet.cnr.it.
5
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL), 00143 Rome, Italy. m.bonafede@inail.it.
6
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL), 00143 Rome, Italy. m.bugani@inail.it.
7
Tuscany Regional Centre for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (CeRIMP), 50135 Florence, Italy. miriam.levi@uslcentro.toscana.it.
8
Tuscany Regional Centre for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (CeRIMP), 50135 Florence, Italy. baldasse1955@gmail.com.
9
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL), 00143 Rome, Italy. a.binazzi@inail.it.
10
Tuscany Region, LaMMA Consortium, Weather Forecaster and Researcher at Laboratory of Monitoring and Environmental Modelling for Sustainable Development, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019 Florence, Italy. gozzini@lamma.rete.toscana.it.
11
Centre of Bioclimatology (CIBIC), University of Florence (UNIFI), 50144 Florence, Italy. simone.orlandini@unifi.it.
12
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence (UNIFI), 50144 Florence, Italy. simone.orlandini@unifi.it.
13
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Section for Integrative Physiology, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. nybo@nexs.ku.dk.
14
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL), 00143 Rome, Italy. a.marinaccio@inail.it.

Abstract

Climate change will increase the frequency and severity of hazard events such as heat waves, with important effects in several European regions. It is of importance to consider overall effects as well as specific impact on vulnerable population groups such as outdoor workers. The agricultural and construction sectors represent two strategic occupational fields that in relatively recent years involve an increasing number of migrant workers, and therefore require a better management of cultural aspects, that may interact with and impact on heat-related health risk. For this reason, the present study evaluated heat-stress perception and management among native and immigrant workers in Europe. As part of the EU's Horizon 2020 HEAT-SHIELD project (grant agreement No. 668786), two agricultural and one construction companies, traditionally employing migrant workers, were evaluated with a questionnaire survey during the summer months of 2017. The data collected (104 case studies) were analyzed using descriptive statistics (Chi-squared tests) and the analysis of variance was performed with ANOVA test. From the results, migrant workers declared that work required greater effort than do native Italian workers (χ² = 17.1, p = 0.001) but reported less impact from heat on productivity (χ² = 10.6; p = 0.014) and thermal discomfort. In addition, migrant workers were mainly informed through written or oral communications, while native workers received information on heat-health issues through training courses. These findings are of importance for future information and mitigation actions to address socio-cultural gaps and reduce heat-stress vulnerability.

KEYWORDS:

Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI); Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT); heat perception; heat waves; migrant; occupational risk

PMID:
30934675
PMCID:
PMC6479923
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph16071090
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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