Date of Award

12-31-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Arijit K. Sengupta

Second Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Third Advisor

Samuel Lieber

Abstract

The rise of e-commerce and the increasing demand for online grocery shopping and delivery has prompted the growth of warehouse workers subjected to cold temperature working conditions. To ensure food safety and the preservation of inventory, majority of these e-grocery warehouses are cold storage with temperatures from 10°C to -23°C. Exposure to such cold working environments can have effects on the workers comfort, performance and health. As the demand for workers in cold temperature environments increases, it is important to understand how this environment affects the workers and the challenges it may present.

This review evaluates how working in cold temperature work affects the human body in both work ability and productivity. It presents the challenges with using cold weather gloves in cold working environments as it affects dexterity, hand grip and causes fatigue. Selection criteria of cold weather gloves and relevant US and international standards are discussed. Difficulties with using thick gloves in cold temperature on complex tasks are reviewed and alternative solutions suggested to improve employee comfort and productivity.

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