The thermal environment affects the human body, and determines whether a person is thermally comfortable. Appropriate clothing protects the body against a stressful environment, without reducing the work performance. Limits to work in extreme cold are set by the capability of the body to respond appropriately to the influence of the thermal environment, clothing worn and the metabolic heat generated by activity.
Cold adds to both physical and mental stress. By reducing comfort, cold may lead to reduced performance as well as reduced safety. The relative accident frequency is related to workplace temperatures and increases as temperatures move away from the optimal range of 18-20°C. Cold environments can interfere with performance through effects on physiological and psychological processes
The ColdWear project will gain knowledge on end user requirements for work in the cold, and study the effect of cold on work and performance.
Published May 5, 2009
Photos: Swix Sport and Statoil