The effects of climate change on the health and safety of pasta industry workers: assessment of heat stress using wbgt index


Warm environment
Climate change
Pasta factory
Heat stress risk

How to Cite

Costabile, D. G., Fuccillo, V., & De Marco, C. (2023). The effects of climate change on the health and safety of pasta industry workers: assessment of heat stress using wbgt index. Journal of Advanced Health Care, 5(4).


Protection of workers from environmental heat stress, especially the risks to which individuals are exposed due to the microclimatic conditions of the summer season characterized by particularly high temperatures, requires a careful assessment of working conditions and the implementation of preventive actions. The sectors most affected by such exposure are related to construction and road works, agriculture, and maritime fishing. This contribution presents the practical assessment and study of some work environments belonging to the pasta production sector, focusing on thermal stress in hot working environments, based on the use of the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index, easily determinable with the use of simple portable instruments. The impact of climate change on the health and safety of workers in the pasta sector is a topic of growing importance. Climate variations adversely affect the health of workers throughout the entire pasta supply chain. This article explores the tangible effects of global warming on the well-being of sector workers, with a particular focus on heat stress and its related impact on productivity. The challenges faced by workers in the pasta sector due to extreme heat weather conditions and appropriate strategies aimed at mitigating the associated economic impacts were analyzed. Furthermore, precautionary measures were examined to define, prevent, and protect the health and safety of workers, thereby contributing to the long-term sustainability of this vital food industry. 
This case study delves into the analysis of temperatures in the workplaces of three pasta factories during two distinct periods of the year, using the WBGT index. This index provides a more accurate assessment of the thermal conditions perceived by workers, considering the complexity of the variables involved. The decision to examine three different pasta factories aims to provide a comparative analysis of the thermal conditions, taking into account the specificities of each structure. The chosen investigation period, spanning summer and early autumn, is motivated by the desire to understand seasonal variations and evaluate the impact of climate change on microclimatic conditions in workplaces. The main objective of the study was to
identify any significant differences in thermal conditions between the two periods considered and to analyze how climate change could influence workers’ health.
The comparative analysis of the data collected during the months of July and October aims to provide a detailed overview of the thermal conditions in pasta factories, highlighting any trends or fluctuations. Through this investigation, we aimed to outline the potential impacts of climate change on the microclimate of workplaces, contributing to greater awareness and the formulation of adaptation strategies. The information emerging from this study is useful for managing the safety and well-being of workers in the specific pasta factories examined. However, it could also constitute a broader contribution in the context of discussions related to the adaptation of working conditions to climate change. The ultimate objective was to promote safe, comfortable, and resilient working environments capable of facing the challenges imposed by climate variations.
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