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Prof. Albert Chan and Prof Francis Wong

Prof. Albert Chan and Prof Francis Wong

Premier Award Winner 2015
Anti-Heat Stress Clothing for Construction Workers in Hot and Humid Weather

Research Abstract

Hong Kong is a typical city, with subtropical climate and high urbanisation.  The nature of atmosphere and urbanised conditions poses irreversible environmental stress on human health.  The construction industry is more susceptible to heat stress because construction work often involves highly demanding physical tasks.  The frequency of verifiable heat-related incidents in the construction industry is higher than many occupational settings.

 

Current guideline recommends that construction workers should wear thin and light clothes with good permeability when working in hot weather.  However, the guideline lacks precise criteria for designing “appropriate” summer work clothes.  Moreover, inappropriate dress behaviour and insufficient personal protection may pose a high risk of skin cancer because of direct exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

 

This study adopted a scientific approach to design an anti-heat stress clothing (AHSC) and evaluate its effectiveness.  Findings of laboratory experiment manifested that AHSC was effective in alleviating thermo-physiological and reduction of heat storage by 28.8%.  The well-being of construction workers would be enhanced with AHSC when working in hot weather, and so does productivity.

Winner's Bios

Professor Albert P. C. Chan FCIOB

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A Chartered Construction Manager, Engineer, Project Manager, and Surveyor by profession, Albert has worked in a number of tertiary institutions both in Hong Kong and overseas.  He joined Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1996, and is currently Head of Department of Building and Real Estate.  Albert’s research interests include project management, construction procurement, construction management and economics, and construction health and safety.  He holds an MSc in Construction Management and Economics from the University of Aston in Birmingham, and a PhD in Project Management from the University of South Australia.

Professor Francis K. W. Wong FCIOB

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A Chartered Builder, Surveyor and Building Engineer by profession, Francis is a Professor in the Department of Building and Real Estate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  He was the Head of the department from 2005/6 to 2007/8. He has 36 years of academic and practical experiences, and his research interests include construction safety & health, and affordable housing.  He obtained his BSc in Building from the Brighton Polytechnic, MSc in Architecture from the London University, and a PhD from the South Bank University.  Francis is Chairman of the CIOB Health and Safety Advisory Sub-Group in Hong Kong.

 

Judge's comments

“The judging panel was impressed with the originality of this anti-heat stress uniform and the way the product has been developed in Hong Kong. Prof Chan and Prof Wong have succeeded in pulling together an innovative interdisciplinary team. The judging panel was further impressed by the physiological testing and resultant quantitative evidence in support of the product’s benefits. It is no small achievement to receive endorsement by the Construction Industry Council in Hong Kong.”