Research Center

Scientists from around the world are joining together to enhance the health and safety of occupational workers through various research areas in lab and field settings. Areas of study include hydration, heat acclimatization, environmental monitoring, physiological monitoring, body cooling, and textiles.



MISSION Heat Lab at the Korey Stringer Institute

The MISSION Heat Lab at UConn’s Korey Stringer Institute is a comprehensive environmental physiology and exercise testing lab. Featuring a 450 sq. ft. environmental chamber capable of precisely controlling ambient temperature from 40°F to 110°F, humidity from 20% to 90% and radiant heat simulating from full cloud cover to unobstructed sun, the facility is prepared to simulate the thermal environments faced by athletes, warfighters and laborers. Unique to the facility is the inclusion of a bathroom and dedicated cooling area within the environmental chamber, allowing for uninterrupted testing. The lab is also fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including high speed treadmills, advanced bike ergometers and a comprehensive physiological monitoring system, to apply exact exercise intensities and accurately measure the responses.

Estimating the intensity of work:

Metabolic equivalent (MET) values by occupation, both estimated and established in the literature, are posted on the website below. METs are used to help determine the amount of calories that an individual is burning during the activities they are performing. This information can allow researchers to distinguish how much heat the worker is generating.


Current Heat Safety Projects




Title: Safety and Performance Monitoring During Occupational Work
Principal Investigators: Douglas Casa, Margaret Morrissey, University of Connecticut

Purpose:  Current heat safety recommendations do not consider the immense inter-individual variability in risk among workers, particularly women who make up 47% of the US workforce. To address the absence of safety thresholds specific to women, wearable technologies can be used to provide individual physiological monitoring of thermoregulatory responses to protect vulnerable workers from heat injury. This research elucidates thermoregulatory responses between sexes while validating common wearable technologies, ultimately maximizing the health and safety of occupational workers in hot environments. This work is supported by an ERC Pilot Project Grant supported by National Institute fro Occupational Safety and Health.


Title: Renal Considerations in the Heat stress and Hydration Recommendations
Principal Investigator: Zac Schlader, Indiana University

Purpose: Occupational heat exposure is linked to the development of kidney injury and disease in people who frequently perform physically demanding work in the heat. Our ongoing research (NCT04797347) aims to determine if the occupational heat stress and dehydration recommendations protect workers from the risk of developing kidney injury. This is being accomplished in a series of laboratory-based studies that simulate many of the metabolic and environmental demands encountered by manual laborers working in hot conditions. This work is supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (R01OH11528). 

 Heat Safety Publication Database


Looking for research on occupational heat safety? Check out our growing publication database below! 


Heat Strain Associated with Working in the Heat

Ioannou, L. G., Mantzios, K., Tsoutsoubi, L., Panagiotaki, Z., Kapnia, A. K., Ciuha, U., Nybo, L., Flouris, A. D., & Mekjavic, I. B. (2021). Effect of a Simulated Heat Wave on Physiological Strain and Labour Productivity. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(6), 3011. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063011


Ioannou, L.G., Mantzios, K., Tsoutsoubi, L., Nintou, E., Vliora, M., Gkiata, P., Dallas, C.N., Gkikas, G., Agaliotis, G., Sfakianakis, K., Kapnia, A.K., Testa, D.J., Amorim, T., Dinas, P.C., Mayor, T.S., Gao, C., Nybo, L., Flouris, A.D. (2021). Occupational Heat Stress: Multi-Country Observations and Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6303. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126303


Piil, J. F., Christiansen, L., Morris, N. B., Mikkelsen, C. J., Ioannou, L. G., Flouris, A. D., Lundbye-Jensen, J., & Nybo, L. (2020). Direct exposure of the head to solar heat radiation impairs motor-cognitive performance. Scientific reports, 10(1), 7812. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-64768-w


Pogačar, T., Žnidaršič, Z., Kajfež Bogataj, L., Flouris, A. D., Poulianiti, K., & Črepinšek, Z. (2019). Heat Waves Occurrence and Outdoor Workers' Self-assessment of Heat Stress in Slovenia and  Greece. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(4), 597.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040597

Flouris, A. D., Dinas, P. C., Ioannou, L. G., Nybo, L., Havenith, G., Kenny, G. P., & Kjellstrom, T. (2018). Workers' health and productivity under occupational heat strain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet. Planetary health, 2(12), e521–e531. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(18)30237-7

Jay, O., & Brotherhood, J. R. (2016). Occupational heat stress in Australian workplaces. Temperature, 3(3), 394-411. https://doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2016.1216256

Brearley, M., Harrington, P., Lee, D., & Taylor, R. (2015). Working in hot conditions—A study of electrical utility workers in the northern territory of Australia. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 12(3), 156–162. https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2014.957831

Jay, O., & Kenny, G. P. (2010). Heat exposure in the Candian workplace. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 53, 842-853. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.20827


Solutions to Mitigate Occupational Heat Strain

Morris, N. B., Piil, J. F., Morabito, M., Messeri, A., Levi, M., Ioannou, L. G., Ciuha, U., Pogačar, T., Kajfež Bogataj, L., Kingma, B., Casanueva, A., Kotlarski, S., Spirig, C., Foster, J., Havenith, G., Sotto Mayor, T., Flouris, A. D., & Nybo, L. (2021). The HEAT-SHIELD project - Perspectives from an inter-sectoral approach to occupational heat stress. Journal of science and medicine in sport, S1440-2440(21)00053-0. 


Morris, N. B., Jay, O., Flouris, A. D., Casanueva, A., Gao, C., Foster, J., Havenith, G., & Nybo, L. (2020). Sustainable solutions to mitigate occupational heat strain - an umbrella review of physiological effects and global health perspectives. Environmental health : a global access science source, 19(1), 95. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-020-00641-7.


Morris N.B, Levi M , Morabito M , Messeri A , Ioannou L.G , Flouris A.D , Samoutis G , Pogačar T, Bogataj L . Piil J.F & Nybo L (2020): Health vs. wealth: Employer, employee and policy-maker perspectives on occupational heat stress across multiple European industries. Temperature. DOI:10.1080/23328940.2020.1852049


Jacklitsch, B., Williams, W. J., Musolin, K., Coca, A., Kim, J. H., & Turner, N (2016).  Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to heat and hot environments. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2016-106/


Effects of Heat on Productivity and Labor 

Foster, J., Smallcombe, J. W., Hodder, S. G., Jay, O., Flouris, A. D., Morris, N. B., Nybo, L., & Havenith, G. (2021). Aerobic fitness as a parameter of importance for labour loss in the heat. Journal of science and medicine in sport, S1440-2440(21)00114-6. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.05.002


Foster, J., Smallcombe, J.W., Hodder, S. et al. An advanced empirical model for quantifying the impact of heat and climate change on human physical work capacity. Int J Biometeorol 65, 1215–1229 (2021). https://doi-org.ezproxy.lib.uconn.edu/10.1007/s00484-021-02105-0



Pogačar, T., Casanueva, A., Kozjek, K., Ciuha, U., Mekjavić, I. B., Kajfež Bogataj, L., & Črepinšek, Z. (2018). The effect of hot days on occupational heat stress in the manufacturing industry: implications for workers' well-being and productivity. International journal of biometeorology, 62(7), 1251–1264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-018-1530-6


Kjellstrom, T., Holmer, I., & Lemke, B. (2009). Workplace heat stress, health and productivity - an increasing challenge for low and middle-income countries during climate change. Global health action, 2, 10.3402/gha.v2i0.2047. https://doi.org/10.3402/gha.v2i0.2047


Heat-related Training and Interventions for Prevention

McCarthy, R. B., Shofer, F. S., & Green-McKenzie, J. (2019). Outcomes of a heat stress awareness program on heat-related illness in municipal outdoor workers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 61(9), 724-728. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001639


Jacklitsch, B. L., King, K. A., Vidourek, R. A., & Merianos, A. L. (2018). Heat-related training and educational material needs among oil spill cleanup responders. Environmental Health Insights. https://doi.org/10.1177/1178630218802295


McCarthy, R. B., Perkison, W. B., Guidotti, T., Nabeel, I., Pensa, M. A., & Green-McKenzie, J. (2018). How can climate change impact the health of workers? Part 1 increased ambient temperature. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001342


Joubert, D., Thomsen, J., & Harrison, O. (2010). Safety in heat: a comprehensive program for prevention of heat illness among workers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. American Public Health Association, 101, 395-401. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.189563


Body Cooling

Jay, O., Hoelzl, R., Weets, J., Morris, N., English, T., Nybo, L., Niu, J., de Dear, R., & Capon, A. (2019). Fanning as an alternative to air conditioning - a sustainable solution for reducing indoor occupational heat stress. Energy & Buildings, 193, 92-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.03.037


Coen C. W. G. Bongers, Maria T. E. Hopman & Thijs M. H. Eijsvogels (2017) Cooling interventions for athletes: An overview of effectiveness, physiological mechanisms, and practical considerations, Temperature, 4:1, 60-78, DOI: 10.1080/23328940.2016.1277003 


Brearley, M., & Walker, A. (2015). Water immersion for post incident cooling of firefighters; a review of practical fire ground cooling modalities. Extreme Physiology & Medicine, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13728-015-0034-9


Hydration 

Bethancourt, H. J., Swanson, Z. S., Nzunza, R., Huanca, T., Conde, E., Kenney, W. L., … Rosinger, A. Y. (2020). Hydration in relation to water insecurity, heat index, and lactation status in two small-scale populations in hot-humid and hot-arid environments. American Journal of Human Biology: The Official Journal of the Human Biology Council, 33(1), e23447. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23447


Chapman, C. L., Johnson, B. D., Vargas, N. T., Hostler, D., Parker, M. D., & Schlader, Z. J. (2020). Both hyperthermia and dehydration during physical work in the heat contribute to the risk of acute kidney injury. Journal of Applied Physiology, 124(4), 715-728.. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00787.2019


Al-Bouwarthan, M., Quinn, M. M., Kriebel, D., & Wegman, D. H. (2020). A field evaluation of construction workers’ activity, hydration status, and heat strain in the extreme summer heat of Saudi Arabia. Annals of Works Exposures and Health, 64(5), 522-535. https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxaa029


Brake, D. J., & Bates, G. P. (2003). Fluid losses and hydration status of industrial workers under thermal stress working extended shifts. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60(2), 90–96. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27731866


Environmental Monitoring

Garzon-Villalba, X. P., Ashley, C. D., & Bernard, T. E. (2019). Benchmarking heat index as an occupational limit for heat stress. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2019.162834


Budd, G. M. (2016). How should we measure occupational heat stress? Temperature. https://doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2016.1218992


Bernard, T. E., & Iheanacho, I. (2015). Heat index and adjusted temperature as surrogates for wet bulb globe temperature to screen for occupational heat stress. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 12(5), 323–333. https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2014.989365


Budd, G. M. (2008). Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT)—Its history and its limitations. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 11(1), 20–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2007.07.003


Bernard, T. E., Caravello, V., Schwartz, S. W., & Ashley, C. D. (2008). WBGT clothing adjustment factors for four clothing ensembles and the effects of metabolic demands. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 5(1), 1–5; quiz d21-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/15459620701732355


Bernard, T. E., Luecke, C. L., Schwartz, S. K., Kirkland, K. S., & Ashley, C. D. (2005). WBGT Clothing Adjustments for Four Clothing Ensembles Under Three Relative Humidity Levels. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 2(5), 251–256. https://doi.org/10.1080/15459620590934224


Emergency Procedures and Action Plans 

Belval, L. N., Casa, D. J., Adams, W. M., Chiampas, G. T., Holschen, J. C., Hosokawa, Y., … Stearns, R. L. (2018). Consensus Statement- Prehospital Care of Exertional Heat Stroke. Prehospital Emergency Care, 22(3), 392–397. https://doi.org/10.1080/10903127.2017.1392666


Casa, D. J., DeMartini, J. K., Bergeron, M. F., Csillan, D., Eichner, E. R., Lopez, R. M., … Yeargin, S. W. (2015). National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(9), 986–1000. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.9.07 


Casa, D. J., Anderson, S. A., Baker, L., Bennett, S., Bergeron, M. F., Connolly, D., … Thompson, C. (2012). The Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Collegiate Conditioning Sessions: Best Practices Recommendations. Journal of Athletic Training, 47(4), 477–480. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-47.4.08


Casa, D. J., McDermott, B. P., Lee, E. C., Yeargin, S. W., Armstrong, L. E., & Maresh, C. M. (2007). Cold water immersion: The gold standard for exertional heatstroke treatment. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 35(3), 141–149. DOI: 10.1097/JES.0B013E3180A02BEC

Andersen, J. C., Courson, R. W., Kleiner, D. M., & McLoda, T. A. (2002). National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Emergency Planning in Athletics. Journal of Athletic Training, 37(1), 99–104. https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/emergencyplanninginathletics.pdf


Epidemiology

Arnold, T. J., Arcury, T. A., Sandberg, J. C., Quandt, S. A., Talton, J. W., Mora, D. C., Kearney, G. D., Chen, H., Wiggins, M. F., & Daniel, S. S. (2020). Heat-related illness among latinx child farmworkers in North Carolina: a mixed-methods study. A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, 30(2), 111-126. https://doi.org/10.1177/1048291120920571


Hansson, E., Glasser, J., Jakobsson, K., Weiss, I., Wesseling, C., Lucas, R. A., Wei, J. L. K., Ekstrom, U., Wijkstom, J., Bodin, T., Johnson, R. J., & Wegman, D. H. (2020). Pathophysiological mechanisms by which heat stress potentially induces kidney inflammation and chronic kidney disease in sugarcane workers. Nutrients, 12(6), 1639. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061639


Al-Bouwarthan, M., Quinn, M. M., Kriebel, D., & Wegman, D. H. (2020). Risk of kidney injury among construction workers exposed to heat stress: a longitudinal study from Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(11), 3775. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113775


Dally, M., Butler-Dawson, J., Krisher, L., Monaghan, A., Weitzenkamp, D., Sorenson, C., Johnson, R. J., Carlton, E. J., Asensio, C., Tenney, L., & Newman, L. S. (2018). The impact of heat and impaired kidney function on productivity of Guatemalan sugarcane workers. PLOS One, 13(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205181


Tustin, A. W., Lamson, G. E., Jacklitsch, B. L., Thomas, R. J., Arbury, S. B., Cannon, D. L., Gonzales, R. G., & Hodgson, M. J (2018). Evaluation of occupational exposure limits for heat stress in outdoor workers - United States, 2011-2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6726a1


Arbury, S., Jacklitsch, B., Farquah, O., Hodgson, M., Lamson, G., Martin, & H., Profitt, A. (2014). Heat illness and death among workers - United States, 2012-2013. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4584656/


Activity Modification

Hosokawa, Y., Casa, D. J., Trtanj, J. M., Belval, L. N., Deuster, P. A., Glitz, S. M., Grundstein, A. J., Hawkins, M. D., Huggins, R. A., Jacklitsch, B., Jardine, J. F., Jones, H., Kazman, J. B., Reynolds, M. E., Stearns, R. L., Vanos, J. K., Williams, A. l., & Williams, W. J. (2019). Activity modification in heat: critical assessment of guidelines across athletic, occupational, and military settings in the USA. International Journal of Biometerology, 63, 405-427. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-019-01673-6


 Climate Change and Heat Illness

De Lima, C. Z., Buzan, J. R., Moore, F. C., Baldos, U. L., Huber, M., & Hertel, T. W. (2021). Heat stress on agricultural workers exacerbates crop impacts of climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 16. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abeb9f


Tigchelaar, M., Battisti, D. S., & Spector, J. T. (2020). Work adaptations insufficient to address growing heat risk agricultural workers. Environmental Research Letters, 15. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab86f4


Kjellstrom, T., Sawada, S. I., Bernard, T. E., Parsons, K., Rintamaki, H., & Holmer, I. (2013). Editorial: Climate Change and Occupational Heat Problems. Industrial Health, 13(1), 1-2. https://doi.org/10.2486/indhealth.MS5101ED


OSHA Policy Reviews

Arbury, S., Lindsley, M., & Hodgson, M. (2016). A Critical Review of OSHA Heat Enforcement Cases: Lessons Learned. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58(4), 359–363. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000640