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A web survey to evaluate the thermal stress among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Alessandro Messeri * 1, 2 , Michela Bonafedde 3 , Emma Pietrafesa 3 , Iole Pinto 4 , Francesca de’Donato 5 , Alfonso Crisci 1 , Jason Kai Wei Lee 6 , Alessandro Marinaccio 7 , Miriam Levi 8 , Marco Morabito 1, 2
1  Institute of Bioeconomy - National Research Council (IBE-CNR), Florence, Italy
2  Centre of Bioclimatology - University of Florence (UNIFI), Florence, Italy
3  Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL), Rome, Italy
4  Physical Agents Sector, Regional Public Health Laboratory, 53100 Siena, Italy
5  Department of Epidemiology Lazio Regional Health Service, ASL ROMA 1, Rome, Italy
6  Human Potential Translational Research Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117593, Singapore
7  Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers'
8  Azienda USL Toscana Centro – UFC Epidemiologia-UFS CeRIMP del Dipartimento di Prevenzione, Firenze

10.3390/ECERPH-3-09061 (registering DOI)
Abstract:

COVID 19 is a major planetary emergency and intense workloads and the potential heat stress create critical conditions for healthcare workers. A web survey was carried out in Italy during summer 2020 as part of WORKLIMATE project with the aim of assessing the interaction between Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and heat stress in healthcare workers. Preliminary results on 191 questionnaires show an increase of heat stress perception in the areas covered by PPE determining symptoms such as thirst, sweating and general distress. This information could be useful to allow preventive measure to safeguard health and productivity of these workers.

Keywords: occupational health and safety, adaptation strategy, PPE, heat waves, global warming
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