2nd International Forum on Climate Change and Health Response under the "Belt & Road"
Initiative. Guangzhou, China. Asia International Hotel, No. 326, Huanshi East Rd, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City.
The HEAT-SHIELD Personalized Warning System for European Workers and Other Adaptation Solutions to Minimize Detrimental Health and Productivity Effects of Workers Caused by Global Warming
Morabito M, Messeri A, Crisci A, Orlandini S., 2018
Abstract: Globally, various heat-health warning systems (HHWSs) based on different environmental and health indicators exist that provide short-term (3-5 days) heat stress alert levels referred to the general population or the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly. These systems provide a generalized warning addressed to a standard person, with fixed anthropometric and behavioral characteristics (clothing worn and physical intensity). Therefore, the information provided may vary widely depending on personal characteristics. Currently, there are not personalized HHWSs for workers who, for strictly economic reasons (linked to the work productivity), are particularly vulnerable to the heat effects, as it is not possible generally to interrupt work except for limited periods. For this reason, in the framework of the European HEAT-SHIELD project (grant agreement No. 668786), a prototype of web-platform with personalized forecast heat warnings for workers, employers, organizations and operators responsible for safeguarding the health in various occupational areas, was also developed and launched operationally during the summer of 2018. This tool provides detailed short-term warnings (up to 5 days) and a medium-term planning support (up to just over a month). The system is based on probabilistic medium-range forecasts of ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast) calibrated on approximately 1,800 weather station located in Europe. The HHWS is based on the forecast of the worst daily heat stress condition assessed by the Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index. A user (worker or stakeholder), after logging on the webpage http://heatshield.zonalab.it/, has access to the own personalized profile where the 5-day heat-risk
levels, with behavioral suggestions to be adopted in the short term (how much to hydrate and rest), as well as the heat-risk levels for planning work activities in the medium term, are available. This adaptation tool, together with other adaptation solutions that will be presented, represent useful b,c support for the worker to counteract the heat stress in the context of the global warming. This is also helpful for the employer (or who is responsible for safeguarding the health of workers) for a better planning of activities (i.e. shifting working hours) while preserving worker’s health and limiting the productivity loss.