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Chan, A P C, Wong, F K W and Yang, Y (2016) From innovation to application of personal cooling vest. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 5(02), 111-24.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: systems thinking; questionnaire survey; frontline worker; management staff
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-11-2015-0041
  • Abstract:
    Purpose – The Hong Kong government agencies launched a “Cooling Vest Promotion Pilot Scheme” across four industries, namely, construction, horticulture and cleaning, airport apron services, and kitchen and catering industries in 2013. A follow-up questionnaire survey regarding this innovative heat stress controlling measure was administered to evaluate its applicability to these industries. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – The questionnaire surveys were separately administered to frontline workers and management staff. A total of 232 workers from the four industries participated in the full-scale questionnaire survey (A), which aimed to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of cooling vests, worker satisfaction, and willingness to wear cooling vests. The survey was also geared toward eliciting the comments of the workers regarding logistics-related issues. A total of 100 members of the management staff across the four industries participated in the questionnaire survey (B), which aimed to solicit their feedback about the Pilot Scheme and the logistic arrangements for using cooling vests. Findings – On the basis of the survey results, a systems model was established. The model revealed that the applicability of cooling vests mainly depends on the perceived benefits (i.e. worker satisfaction) and logistic costs. The results implied that the existing personal cooling vest failed to satisfy the workers’ needs and incurred potential logistic costs, which likely limited the broad application of cooling vests. Originality/value – The current study employed a systematics thinking approach and provided practical recommendations that could benefit industrial practitioners in the extensive application of an innovative heat stress precautionary measure.