A medical screening exercise test is presented which accurately predicts relative heat tolerance during work in very hot environments. The test consisted of 15–20 min of exercise at a standard absolute intensity of about 600 kcal/hr (140W) with the subject wearing a vapor-barrier suit. Five minutes after the subject exercised, recovery heart rate was measured. When this heart rate is used, a physiological limit (±-5 min) can be predicted with 95% confidence for the most intense work-heat conditions found in nuclear power stations. In addition, site health and safety personnel can establish qualification criteria for work on hot jobs, based on the test results. The test as developed can be performed in an office environment with the use of a minimum of equipment by personnel with minimal expertise and training. Total maximal test duration is about 20–25 min per person and only heart rate need be monitored (simple pulse palpation will suffice). Test modality is adaptable to any ergometer, the most readily available and least expensive of which is bench-stepping. It is recommended that this test be available for use for those persons who, based upon routine medical examination or past history, are suspected of being relatively heat intolerant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health