Integrated model of health risk assessment for workers having to work outdoors under exposure to cooling meteorological factors

View or download the full article: 
613.6.03 (571.122)

E.M. Polyakova1, A.V. Meltser2, I.S. Iakubova2, N.V. Erastova2, A.V. Suvorova2


1 North-West Public Health Research Center, 4 2nd Sovetskaya Str., Saint Petersburg, 191036, Russian Federation
2 I.I. Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, 41 Kirochnaya Str., Saint Petersburg, 195067, Russian Federation


Natural resources extraction involves continuous exposure to cooling meteorological factors typical for open production grounds. This necessitates relevant health risk assessment and management of health risks caused by exposure to these harmful occupational factors. However, the available risk assessment models do not provide a possibility to perform complete assessment of the existing risks created by exposure to meteorological hazards.

The study design included the following. We performed hygienic assessment of working conditions and health of workers employed by “Samotlorneftegaz” Joint Stock Company (JSC) who had to perform their work tasks under exposure to cooling meteorological factors on open production grounds; the assessment involved calculating the group health risk. Individual peculiarities were assessed using subjective (547 people took part in questioning) and objective assessment methods (76 people took part in estimating thermal state of their bodies and 54 people participated in thermometry with cold stress). Finally, we assessed prior and posterior risks.

The prior group risk assessment made it possible to identify risk groups who had a significant risk of developing occupational and non-occupational diseases and to rank working places as per health hazards. The posterior risk assessment confirmed the results produced by the prior risk assessment regarding potentiating negative effects produced by cooling meteorological factors. The assessment of developing general and local thermoregulation disorders revealed that certain individual peculiarities made a substantial contribution into their development. Among them, we can mention long-term outdoor work (60 % of work time or more) under exposure to cooling meteorological factors; a chronic pathology; tobacco smoking. The results produced by this study allowed us to suggest an integrated model for risk assessment, management and communication about health risks caused by working under exposure to cooling meteorological factors.

outdoor work, oil production, cooling meteorological factors, health risk assessment, prior risk, posterior risk, individual peculiarities in outdoor work
Polyakova E.M., Meltser A.V., Iakubova I.S., Erastova N.V., Suvorova A.V. Integrated model of health risk assessment for workers having to work outdoors under exposure to cooling meteoro-logical factors. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 2, pp. 88–97. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.2.08.eng
  1. Fauzer V.V., Lytkina T.S., Fauzer G.N. Demograficheskie i migratsionnye protsessy na Rossiiskom Severe: 1980–2000 gg. [Demographic and migration processes in the Russian North: 1980–2000]. Syktyvkar, SGU im. Pitirima Sorokina Publ., 2016, 168 p. (in Russian).
  2. Gevorkyan S.G. Permafrost zone as a subject and area of frontier conflicts. Elektronnoe nauchnoe izdanie Al'manakh Prostranstvo i Vremya, 2013, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 14 (in Russian).
  3. Krupko A.E., Shulgina L.V. The role of the Far North and equivalent areas for sustainable economic development. FES: Finansy. Ekonomika, 2021, vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 10–18 (in Russian).
  4. Gimranova G.G., Bakirov A.B., Shaikhlislamova E.R., Karimova L.K., Beigul N.A., Mavrina L.N. Musculo-skeletal and peripheral nervous diseases in employees of the oil industry in conditions of the combined impact of vibration and the heavy working process. Gigiena i sanitariya, 2017, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 552–555. DOI: 10.18821/0016-9900-2017-96-6-552-555 (in Russian).
  5. Polyakova E.M., Mel'tser A.V., Chashchin V.P., Erastova N.V. Hygienic assessment of contribution made by cooling meteorological factors into occupational risks of health disorders for workers who have to work outdoors in cold season. Health Risk Analysis, 2020, no. 3, pp. 108–116. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2020.3.13.eng
  6. Mäkinen T.M., Hassi J. Health problems in cold work. Ind. Health, 2009, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 207–220. DOI: 10.2486/indhealth.47.207
  7. Nagibovich O.A., Ukhovsky D.M., Zhekalov A.N., Tkachuk N.A., Arzhavkina L.G., Bog-danova E.G., Murzina E.V., Belikova T.M. Mechanisms of hypoxia in Arctic zone of Russian Federation. Vestnik Rossiiskoi Voenno-meditsinskoi akademii, 2016, no. 2 (54), pp. 202–205 (in Russian).
  8. Solonin Yu.G., Boiko E.R., Velichkovskii B.T. Physiological stress standards at manual labour in high latitudes. Zhurnal mediko-biologicheskikh issledovanii, 2017, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 25–36. DOI: 10.17238/issn2542-1298.2017.5.1.25 (in Russian).
  9. Chashchin V.P., Gudkov A.B., Popova O.N., Odland Yu.O., Kovshov A.A. Kharakteristika osnovnykh faktorov riska narushenii zdorov'ya naseleniya, prozhivayushchego na territoriyakh aktivnogo prirodopol'zovaniya v Arktike [Description of main risk factors causing health deterioration for population living on territories of active natural management in the Arctic]. Ekologiya cheloveka, 2014, no. 1, pp. 3–12 (in Russian).
  10. Talykova L.V., Gushchin I.V., Kuptsova S.N., Skripal B.A. Subjective and objective assessment of musculoskeletal system state in workers of underground mines in the Arctic zone of Russia. Ekologiya cheloveka, 2017, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 28–34. DOI: 10.33396/1728-0869-2017-9-28-34 (in Russian).
  11. Lakhman O.L., Kolesov V.G., Pankov V.A., Rukavishnikov V.S., Shayakhmetov S.F., Dyakovich M.P. Vibrational disease of miners in Siberia and the Russian North caused by exposure to local vibration. Irkutsk, Nauchnyi tsentr rekonstruktivnoi i vosstanovitel'noi khirurgii Sibirskogo otdeleniya RAMN Publ., 2008, 208 p. (in Russian).
  12. Chao P.-C., Juang Y.-J., Chen C.-J., Dai Y.-T., Yeh C.-Y., Hu C.-Y. Combined effects of noise, vibration, and low temperature on the physiological parameters of labor employees. Kaohsiung J. Med. Sci., 2013, vol. 29, no. 10, pp. 560–567. DOI: 10.1016/j.kjms.2013.03.004
  13. Pettersson H., Rissanen S., Wahlström J., Rintamäki H. Skin temperature responses to hand-arm vibration in cold and thermoneutral ambient temperatures. Ind. Health, 2018, vol. 56, no. 6, pp. 545–552. DOI: 10.2486/indhealth.2018-0013
  14. Burström L., Aminoff A., Björ B., Mänttäri S., Nilsson T., Pettersson H., Rintamäki H., Rödin I. [et al.]. Musculoskeletal symptoms and exposure to whole-body vibration among open-pit mine workers in the Arctic. Int. J. Occup. Med. Environ. Health, 2017, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 553–564. DOI: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00975
  15. Golmohammadi R., Darvishi E. The combined effects of occupational exposure to noise and other risk factors – a systematic review. Noise Health, 2019, vol. 21, no. 101, pp. 125–141. DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_4_18
  16. Holmér I. Evaluation of cold workplaces: an overview of standards for assessment of cold stress. Ind. Health, 2009, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 228–234. DOI: 10.2486/indhealth.47.228
  17. Rakhmanov R.S., Gadzhiibragimov D.A., Bakhmydov G.G., Alikberov M.Kh., Tarasov A.V. On the evaluation of working conditions in open area in the winter season. Gigiena i sanitariya, 2019, vol. 98, no. 4, pp. 424–427. DOI: 10.18821/0016-9900-2019-98-4-424-427 (in Russian).
  18. Rakhmanov R.S., Bogomolova E.S., Narutdinov D.A., Razgulin S.A., Potekhina N.N., Nepryakhin D.V. Assessment of bioclimatic indices in the territories of the subarctic and continental climatic zones of the Krasnoyarsk territory. Gigiena i sanitariya, 2022, vol. 101, no. 3, pp. 288–293. DOI: 10.47470/0016-9900-2022-101-3-288-293 (in Russian).
  19. Błażejczyk K., Jendritzky G., Bröde P., Fiala D., Havenith G., Epstein Y., Psikuta A., Kampmann B. An introduction to the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). Geographia Polonica, 2013, vol. 1, no. 86, pp. 5–10. DOI: 10.7163/GPol.2013.1
  20. Petersson J., Kuklane K., Gao C. Is There a Need to Integrate Human Thermal Models with Weather Forecasts to Predict Thermal Stress? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2019, vol. 16, no. 22, pp. 4586. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16224586
  21. Polyakova E.M., Meltser A.V., Chashchin V.P. Apriornaya i aposteriornaya otsenka riska narushenii zdorov'ya pri rabote na otrytoi territorii v kholodnyi period goda [A priori and a posteriori assessment of the risk of health disorders when working in an open area in the cold season]. Analiz riska zdorov'yu – 2020 sovmestno s mezhdunarodnoi vstrechei po okruzha-yushchei srede i zdorov'yu Rise-2020 i kruglym stolom po bezopasnosti pitaniya: materialy X Vserossiiskoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii s mezhdunarodnym uchastiem: v 2-kh tomakh. In: A.Yu. Popova, N.V. Zaitseva eds. Perm, May 13–15, 2020, pp. 86–93 (in Russian).
  22. Meltser A.V., Polyakova E.M. Assessment of the combined professional risk working in open territory in the cold period of the year. Profilakticheskaya i klinicheskaya meditsina, 2019, no. 3 (72), pp. 4–13 (in Russian).
Accepted for publication: 

You are here