Rethinking Workplace Thermal Comfort in Climate Change Context

Latha, PK ; Venugopal, Vidhya

Abstract

In the coming decades, global warming is likely to adversely change indoor thermal comfort without interventions. Select workplaces were assessed for indoor thermal comfort, workers’ health impacts with future projections for indoor thermal conditions. Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) monitor was used to measure heat exposures and validated questionnaires captured workers perceptions on thermal discomfort. Average seasonal WBGT levels ranged between 30°C-33°C and ~66% of workers were working above safe limits. Workers (56%) who perceived thermal discomfort had significantly higher odds of reporting heat-related health symptoms (Adj.OR: 8.0;p-value=<0.0001). Passive cooling and climate smart workplaces can improve thermal comfort with energy-saving co-benefits.


Keyword(s)

Climate Change; Occupational Health; Passive Cooling; Thermal Comfort


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