Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Public Health (M.S.P.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Thomas E. Bernard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yehia Hammad, Ph.D.

Committee Member

René Salazar, Ph.D.


Heat Strain, Heat Stress, PHS, Predicted Heat Strain


Heat stress is one of many physical agents to which thousands of workers are under constant exposure. Oftentimes it is necessary to work above the WBGT-based heat stress exposure limits. It is therefore important to consider alternative measures that include an exposure time limit to manage the heat stress. Predicted Heat Strain (PHS) (ISO7933) is one of those alternatives. PHS uses both personal factors like height and weight and job factors of environment, metabolic rate and clothing. The purpose of this project is to determine whether the PHS is an adequate method to predict short term exposure limits.

The project’s data were taken from a prior experimental study where twelve participants were exposed to five different heat stress levels while over three different clothing ensembles. A total of 15 combinations of clothing and environment were tried. The PHS process was adapted to an Excel function using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) (called fPHSTre). fPHSTre predicted a rectal temperature (Tre) at the exposure limit using both personal and job factors and then using standard values for personal factors.

Based on analysis of variance, the fPHSTre adequately accounted for clothing, specifically evaporative resistance, using either fixed or individual data for predicted Tre on the experimental trials. In general, the PHS model could be used to reliably assess time limiting safe exposures in occupational settings for workers in hot environments.