This document describes a model [the predicted heat strain (PHS) model] for the analytical determination and interpretation of the thermal stress (in terms of water loss and rectal temperature) experienced by an average person in a hot environment and determines the maximum allowable exposure times within which the physiological strain is acceptable for 95 % of the exposed population (the maximum tolerable rectal temperature and the maximum tolerable water loss are not exceeded by 95 % of the exposed people).
The various terms used in this prediction model and, in particular, in the heat balance, show the influence of the different physical parameters of the environment on the thermal stress experienced by the average person. In this way, this document makes it possible to determine which parameter or group of parameters can be changed, and to what extent, in order to reduce the risk of excessive physiological strain.
In its present form, this method of assessment is not applicable to cases where special protective clothing (e.g. fully reflective clothing, active cooling and ventilation, impermeable coveralls) is worn.
This document does not predict the physiological response of an individual person, but only considers average persons in good health and fit for the work they perform. It is therefore intended to be used by, among others, ergonomists and industrial hygienists, as the outcomes can require expert interpretations. Recommendations about how and when to use this model are given in ISO 8025.