Rationale for a personal monitor for heat strain

Thomas E. Bernard, W. Larry Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Worker heat-stress exposures can be controlled for short periods above the threshold limit value (TLV®) by self-assessment, if the worker can avoid overexposure based on excessive heart rate and/or excessive core temperature. A socially acceptable surrogate for core temperature and a measure of heart rate are objective measures that can increase the reliability of the self-assessment decision. This article describes a surface-mounted temperature sensor developed to indicate when rectal temperature reaches a safe limit. Protective criteria were established for temperature sensor alert limits. A fixed threshold for heart rate may cause premature alerts during bursts of activity and miss lower, but sustained, heart rates that represent significant physiological strain. For these reasons, heart rate criteria based on seven moving-time averages also were developed. The criteria are based on a relationship between heart rate and endurance time. The temperature sensor and heart rate criteria form the basis of a real-time personal monitor for heat strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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