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ISO 7933:2004 specifies a method for the analytical evaluation and interpretation of the thermal stress experienced by a subject in a hot environment. It describes a method for predicting the sweat rate and the internal core temperature that the human body will develop in response to the working conditions.

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 subject. In this way, this International Standard makes it possible to determine which parameter or group of parameters should be modified, and to what extent, in order to reduce the risk of physiological strains.

The main objectives of ISO 7933:2004 are the following:

  1. the evaluation of the thermal stress in conditions likely to lead to excessive core temperature increase or water loss for the standard subject;
  2. the determination of exposure times with which the physiological strain is acceptable (no physical damage is to be expected). In the context of this prediction mode, these exposure times are called "maximum allowable exposure times".

ISO 7933:2004 does not predict the physiological response of individual subjects, but only considers standard subjects in good health and fit for the work they perform. It is therefore intended to be used by ergonomists, industrial hygienists, etc., to evaluate working conditions.