The impact of perceived heat stress symptoms on work-related tasks and social factors: A cross-sectional survey of Australia's Monsoonal North

Sarah Carter, Emma Field, Elspeth Oppermann, Matt Brearley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Heat poses a significant occupational hazard for labour-intensive workers in hot and humid environments. Therefore, this study measured the prevalence of heat-stress symptoms and impact of heat exposure on labour-intensive industries within the Monsoonal North region of Australia. A cohort of 179 workers completed a questionnaire evaluating environmental exposure, chronic (recurring) and/or severe (synonymous with heat stroke) symptoms of heat stress, and impact within work and home settings. Workers reported both chronic (79%) and severe (47%) heat stress symptoms, with increased likelihood of chronic symptoms when exposed to heat sources (OR 1.5–1.8, p = 0.002–0.023) and decreased likelihood of both chronic and severe symptoms when exposed to air-conditioning (Chronic: OR 0.5, p = <0.001, Severe: OR 0.7, p = 0.019). Negative impacts of heat exposure were reported for both work and home environments (30–60% respectively), highlighting the need for mitigation strategies to reduce occupational heat stress in the Monsoonal North.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102918
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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