Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment




Vol 11, Issue 3&4,2013
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255


Workers’ health and safety in Mediterranean greenhouses


Author(s):

Alvaro Marucci

Recieved Date: 2013-05-07, Accepted Date: 2013-10-22

Abstract:

Greenhouses are not suitable of workplaces for farm workers especially in hot weather. They are forced to work in unfavourable conditions and are often exposed to harmful effects. Working in unsuitable temperatures in combination with exposure to chemicals and body stress due to heavy physical activity can be very dangerous for a person’s health. The research was carried out to highlight the risks for workers’ health by analyzing the climatic data recorded inside and outside the greenhouse at the Agricultural Educational and Experimental Farm of the University of Tuscia in Viterbo from 1992 to 2007 in all seasons. In addition to the calculation of WBGT index and of the human heat balance at different body temperatures in different types of clothing and working conditions, the study also analysed the skip heat between the internal and external environment on workers when they leave their workplace. At 20th week the average of indoor temperatures was always higher than the limit suitable for the operators and the average of maximum temperatures may rise as high as 40°C at the 36th week. The average values per week of WBGT index at the 16th week rose over 28°C which is considered to be the standard limit for heavy work by current legislation. In thermal stress conditions (>25°C) the amount of latent energy given off by sweat increased markedly reaching 60% at 30°C, 70% at 35°C and rose to over 80% above an air temperature of 40°C. This research is a contribution towards risk evaluation after long-term heat exposure.

Keywords:

Greenhouses, health risk, heat stress, safety


Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2013
Volume: 11
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 35-39


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