Health risks for workers caused by weather and climatic conditions during a cold season
R.S. Rakhmanov1, S.A. Kolesov1, M.Kh. Alikberov1, N.N. Potekhina1, N.I. Belous'ko1, A.V. Tarasov2, D.V. Nepryakhin1, S.I. Zhargalov3
1Nizhniy Novgorod Scientific Research Institute for Hygiene and Occupational Pathology, 20 Semashko Str., Nizhnii Novgorod, 603950, Russian Federation
2 Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, 14 A. Nevskogo Str., Kaliningrad, 236016, Russian Federation
3Military unit No. 51410, Nasrutdinov avenue, the 14-th kilometer, Makhachkala, 367000, Russian Federation
The authors assessed influences exerted on a body by physical environmental factors in autumn, winter, and spring in Dagestan and Kaliningrad region (the 4th climatic region where such assessments are not regulated) as per risks of exposure to cold; our assessments focused on Wind Chill Index (WCI), and frostbites of open body parts as per chilling conditions (CC) parameter under average temperature, average and maximum winds.
In Dagestan heat losses in winter under average winds were higher than optimal in the highest alpine region; but when winds reached their maximum power, such losses increased 1.35–1.48 times and overcooling was very much possible in alpine regions (WCI was higher than 1,190.0 kcal/m2 ∙ h). In spring heat loss was higher than its optimal level in highlands under wind gusts. One could feel real discomfort in autumn at 1,661 meters high.
Body chilling was quite possible in winter in Kaliningrad region when winds blew at their maximum; and discomfort could occur under wind gusts in spring and autumn.
As per CC parameter, frostbites risk was moderate in Dagestan in winter under average winds; and there was no such risk in autumn and spring. However, if winds were at maximum, the most critical risks occurred in Makhachkala district and in Khunsakhskiy district, and in Kaliningrad region as well. Risk was moderate in Kaspiyskiy district and Akhtyinskiy district. In spring and autumn risk was moderate under maximum winds in all Dagestan districts, but it was close to being critical in Kaliningrad region.
Nowadays, influences exerted by physical factors are determined as per temperature and wind speed. We detected that these influences could be adverse under different winds and could even become critical. Chilling and frostbite can occur even if a person is in winter clothing. However, influence exerted by air humidity is not taken into account. We can assume that this factor will potentiate influences exerted by temperature and wind, and it calls for working out a complex assessment of environmental factors in different seasons.
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