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A review of occupational exposure to heat stress, its health effects and controls among construction industry workers, A case of Jeddah, KSA

Review Paper | July 1, 2020

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Tarek Abokhashabah, Bassem Jamoussi, Ahmed Saleh Summan, Ezz Abdelfattah, Ijaz Ahmad

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Int. J. Biosci.17( 1), 35-45, July 2020

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/17.1.35-45


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Construction workers face various health hazards, risks, and injuries while working outdoor at construction sites, this will also significantly impact their physical, mental health and productivity. Thermal stress is among the main hazards affecting heavily construction workers. With climatic conditions of most of the cities in the world, there has been a general increase in average temperature which would expose the workers to extreme heat especially in summer. Construction workers who are affected by this high temperature are at elevated risk of heat stress, which may lead to an increased heartbeat and blood pressure, stress and fatigue, heatstroke, and chronic heart disorders. This article aims to review the characteristics and health effects of heat exposure among construction industry workers and to summarize findings from published studies, and ultimately recommending control measures for workplace heat exposure reduction, adaptations, and further research options. Globally, the literature on the effects of scorching heat on the health of outdoor workers has received limited attention, although, substantial numbers of workers are experiencing the health effects of working outdoors in elevated temperatures and humid environments. The impacts of extreme heat exposure on workers’ health, safety, and productivity have been discussed in this review article. The prospective health effects of such exposures are underestimated due to the underreporting of heat illnesses. More research studies need to be done in order to quantify the impacts of workplace heat exposure exacerbated by climate change in recent years.


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A review of occupational exposure to heat stress, its health effects and controls among construction industry workers, A case of Jeddah, KSA

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