Real-Time Personalized Monitoring to Estimate Occupational Heat Stress in Ambient Assisted Working


Ambient Assisted Working (AAW) is a discipline aiming to provide comfort and safety in the workplace through customization and technology. Workers’ comfort may be compromised in many labor situations, including those depending on environmental conditions, like extremely hot weather conduces to heat stress. Occupational heat stress (OHS) happens when a worker is in an uninterrupted physical activity and in a hot environment. OHS can produce strain on the body, which leads to discomfort and eventually to heat illness and even death. Related ISO standards contain methods to estimate OHS and to ensure the safety and health of workers, but they are subjective, impersonal, performed a posteriori and even invasive. This paper focuses on the design and development of real-time personalized monitoring for a more effective and objective estimation of OHS, taking into account the individual user profile, fusing data from environmental and unobtrusive body sensors. Formulas employed in this work were taken from different domains and joined in the method that we propose. It is based on calculations that enable continuous surveillance of physical activity performance in a comfortable and healthy manner. In this proposal, we found that OHS can be estimated by satisfying the following criteria: objective, personalized, in situ, in real time, just in time and in an unobtrusive way. This enables timely notice for workers to make decisions based on objective information to control OHS.