The assessment of harsh working conditions requires a correct evaluation of the metabolic rate. This paper revises the basis described in the ISO 8996 standard for the evaluation of the metabolic rate at a work station from the recording of the heart rate of a worker during a representative period of time. From a review of the literature, formulas different from those given in the standard are proposed to estimate the maximum working capacity, the maximum heart rate, the heart rate and the metabolic rate at rest and the relation (HR vs. M) at the basis of the estimation of the equivalent metabolic rate, as a function of the age, height and weight of the person. A Monte Carlo simulation is used to determine, from the approximations of these parameters and formulas, the imprecision of the estimated equivalent metabolic rate. The results show that the standard deviation of this estimate varies from 10 to 15%.
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