Our primary objective in this study was to design and implement the FAME Lab PHS Calculator software (PHSFL) (www.famelab.gr/research/downloads), a free tool to calculate the predicted heat strain of an individual based on ISO 7933:2018. Our secondary objective was to optimize the practicality of the PHSFL by incorporating knowledge from other ISO standards and published literature. The third objective of this study was to assess: (i) the criterion-related validity of the PHSFL by comparing its results against those obtained using the original ISO 7933:2018 code; and (ii) the construct validity of the PHSFL by comparing its results against those obtained via field experiments performed in human participants during work in the heat. Our analysis for criterion validity demonstrates that PHSFL provides valid results within the required computational accuracy, according to Annex F of ISO 7933:2018. The construct validity showed that root mean square errors (RMSE) and 95% limits of agreement (LOA) were minimal between measured and predicted core temperature (RMSE: 0.3°C; LOA: 0.06 ± 0.58°C) and small between measured and predicted mean skin temperature (RMSE: 1.1°C; LOA: 0.59 ± 1.83°C). In conclusion, the PHSFL software demonstrated strong criterion-related and construct-related validity.
Keywords: Heat stress; Hyperthermia; Labor; Occupation; Predicted heat strain (PHS); Thermal; Work.