ORIGINAL PAPER
Assessment of construction workers’ hydration status using urine specific gravity
 
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1
Occupational Health Research Center (OHRC), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2
Occupational Health Research Center (OHRC), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Arjantin square, Alvand street, 1516846514, Tehran, Iran
3
Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4
Department of Nutrition and Biochemistry, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5
Hooman Research Collaborators Institute, Tehran, Iran
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26(5):762–769
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: The study objective was to assess hydration status by measuring USG among construction workers in Iran. Materials and Methods: The study design was comparative and experimental. Sixty participants were randomly selected from the construction workers from a construction campus with a similar type of work, climate and diet and formed 2 groups (individuals exposed to the sun and non-exposed individuals). TWL and USG were measured in both groups on 2 consequent days, at the beginning, mid and end of the work shift. Results: USG test showed that mean USG was 1.0213±0.0054 in the control group and in the exposed group, where it was significantly higher, it amounted to 1.026±0.005. In the exposed group, 38% of workers had a USG level between 1.026-1.030, representing a higher risk of heat illness and impaired performance and 12.72% had a USG level above 1.030 representing a clinically dehydrated status, while this proportion in the control group was 15.2% and 0.58%, respectively. The mean TWL index measure was 215.8±5.2 W/m2 for the control group and 144±9.8 W/m2 for the exposed group, where, again, it was significantly higher. The Pearson correlation measure showed a significant correlation between USG and TWL. Conclusions: Strong correlation between TWL, as an indicator of thermal stress and USG shows that USG can be considered as a predictor of thermal stress. The difference between USG among the exposed and non-exposed workers and the increase in USG during midday work show the sensitivity of this measure in different thermal and climatic conditions, whereas, the high level of dehydration among workers despite acceptable TWL level, shows that heat stress management without considering the real hydration status of workers, is insufficient.
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ISSN:1232-1087