The Effects of Clothing Insulation and Acclimation on the Thermal Comfort of Underground Mine Workers

Elaheh Talebi, Maurice Sunkpal, Taghi Sharizadeh, Pedram Roghanchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Excessive heat exposure is among the health and safety hazards that have adverse effects on the mine workers. The very nature of the underground climate makes it a convenient avenue for heat generation and accumulation from several heat sources including autocompression, equipment, and heat from strata. This study investigated the effects of clothing insulation and acclimation on the thermal comfort of mine workers who are exposed to heat in underground working environments. Several clothing ensembles have been considered to analyze the effect of the thermal resistance of clothing on the thermal comfort of workers. To investigate the impact of the clothing insulation, the thermal comfort limit of an underground miner was calculated in the form of maximum allowable exposure time for an 8-h shift. Parametric analyses were subsequently performed using an already developed thermal comfort model using MATLAB software. The results demonstrate that clothing insulation has a significant effect on the thermal comfort of mine workers. Increase in the clothing insulation decreases the maximum allowable exposure time of mine workers. This is especially true for the new and non-acclimated workers. Since acclimatized workers can tolerate a higher level of the dehydration and are capable of losing more water by sweat per shift, the maximum allowable exposure time for the acclimated workers are higher than non-acclimated workers. These analyses have shown that acclimated workers can have more continuous work per shift compared with non-acclimated workers. For example, in an environmental condition with clothing that a non-acclimated worker cannot work more than 5 h, an acclimated worker can work a full 8-h shift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1827-1836
Number of pages10
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc.


  • Acclimation
  • Clothing insulation
  • Heat exposure
  • Thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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