Exposure of workers to occupational heat during the application of phytosanitary products in coffee crop
Keywords:Occupational Heat, WBGT, Acclimatization, Insalubrity
During the application of phytosanitary products in coffee trees, workers may be exposed to temperatures that could compromise their health. Exposure to occupational heat can lead to progressive dehydration, cramps, exhaustion and the possibility of thermal shock. Thus, knowing the levels of occupational heat that workers are exposed becomes important. This study aimed to evaluate workers’ occupational exposure to heat during the application of phytosanitary products with manual costal pump in the coffee crops. The case study was developed at the IFSULDEMINAS school farm - Campus Inconfidentes in the months of September and October 2017. The occupational heat in the coffee crop was evaluated using the WBGTAVERAGE method, using TGD 400 thermal stress meter. The WBGT values found were compared to the exposure limits of NR 15 for the purposes of insalubrity classification and with NHO 06 for acclimatized and non-acclimatized workers. The results showed that the WBGT found is below the tolerance limit of NR 15, for the month of September. In October, the tolerance limit was exceeded in the period from 11:00 a.m. to 2:59 p.m., considering a continuous heavy activity and rest in the workplace, and the activity considered unhealthy. Considering the criteria of the NHO 06 it was observed that the limits of occupational exposure were exceeded in the month of October, for acclimatized and non-acclimatized workers. In September the occupational exposure limit of NHO 06 was exceeded only for non-acclimated workers. Therefore, the workers should be submitted to acclimatization during the phytosanitary application activity in the month of October.