Heat Stress Management in the Construction Industry: A Socio-technical Systems Perspective

Damithri Gayashini Melagoda*, Steve Rowlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Due to heavy physical outdoor work construction workers’ safety is compromised by climatic heat stress. Heat stress in construction consists of environmental, organizational, technological, and personal elements. Administrative controls, environmental engineering controls, and personal engineering controls are safety interventions in the construction industry adopted to cope with heat stress. Numerous indices, models, and protective guidelines are introduced to measure and manage heat stress. Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), Humidex, thermal work limit (TWL), predicted heat strain (PHS) are common indices used to measure heat stress. Imposing mandatory work-rest regimens is done through regulations as well as organizational work systems. Self-pacing, an alternative method of heat stress management, can be optimized by work system design using self-regulating worker groups. Because of the pragmatic and loosely-coupled nature of the construction industry, the design of self-regulating worker groups needs to be addressed in a socio-technical approach. It would comprise of consultative and substantive worker participation to optimize the work system for the benefit of individual and organization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021): Volume V Methods and Approaches
EditorsNancy L. Black, W. Patrick Neumann, Ian Noy
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-303074613-1
ISBN (Print)9783030746131
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 13 Jun 202118 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volume223 LNNS
ISSN (Print)2367-3370
ISSN (Electronic)2367-3389


Conference21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address


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