Thermal comfort prediction of aged industrial workers based on occupants' basal metabolic rate

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Alice CaporaleFrancesco Gabriele GaliziaLucia BottiCristina Mora

Abstract: The increasing workforce ageing brings benefits and challenges in industrial structures. Industries consider aged workers as essential resources thanks to their experience and skills. Conversely, the aged workers' progressive functional and cognitive decline reduce their tolerance to industrial environmental conditions, negatively impacting performance. In particular, after age 30, there is a progressive inefficiency in the physiological response to temperature changes. Therefore, thermal discomfort conditions have a worse impact as the workers' age increases. The Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) methodology is conventionally used to predict the human sensation of thermal comfort on a seven-point thermal sensation scale. Such methodology does not take account of progressive decline in thermoregulation capacity with age. This paper aims to fill this gap by proposing an analytic model for the prediction of thermal comfort. The Metabolic rate (M) parameter in the PMV equation is calculated from the Harris-Benedict equations revised by Mifflin and St Jeor (1990) for the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), including the age factor for a more accurate evaluation of the workers' thermal sensation. The aim is to safeguard the aged workers' health and well-being to enhance their performance during work.

Keywords: Ageing workforce, Thermal comfort, Metabolic rate, Occupational health and safety, Performance

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002666

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