Climate CHIP Publications

Excessive occupational heat exposure: a significant ergonomic challenge and health risk for current and future workers

Authors: 
Lucas RAI, Epstein Y, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2014

Occupational heat exposure threatens the health of a worker not only when heat illness occurs but also when a worker’s performance and work capacity is impaired. Occupational contexts that involve hot and humid climatic conditions, heavy physical workloads and/or protective clothing create a strenuous and potentially dangerous thermal load for a worker. There are recognized heat prevention strategies and international thermal ergonomic standards to protect the worker.

Climate change and occupational health: a South African perspective

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lemke B, Hyatt O, Otto M
Year: 
2014

A number of aspects of human health are caused by, or associated with, local climate conditions, such as heat and cold, rainfall, wind and cloudiness. Any of these aspects of health can also be affected by climate change, and the predicted higher temperatures, changes in rainfall, and more frequent extreme weather conditions will create increased health risks in many workplaces. Important occupational health risks include heat stress effects, injuries due to extreme weather, increased chemical exposures, vector-borne diseases and under-nutrition.

Occupational heat effects: a global health and economic threat due to climate change.

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lucas R, Lemke B, Sahu S, In Butler C (Ed),
Year: 
2014

This chapter discusses the role of climate change in increasing workplace heat exposures and the association of human physiology and performance with ambient heat exposure. The clinical effects of heat exposure as well as its economic and well-being impacts are described. Preventive actions are suggested.

Measuring and estimating occupational heat exposure and effects in relation to climate change: “Hothaps” tools for impact assessments and prevention approaches

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lucas R, Lemke B, Otto M, Venugopal V. In: Butler C (Ed)
Year: 
2014

This chapter describes the 5 components of heat exposure and effect studies in workplace settings: a descriptive pilot study; heat monitoring studies; exploratory interview surveys; quantitative studies of heat exposure-response relationships; and occupational health and economic impact assessment for local climate change. These components can be carried out separately or in combination and the results of local studies can be used to improve occupational health protection actions and can contribute to the global assessments of climate change impacts.

Current and Future Heat Stress in Nicaraguan Work Places under a Changing Climate

Authors: 
Sheffield PE, Herrera JG, Lemke B, Kjellstrom T, Romero LE
Year: 
2013

While climate change continues to increase ambient temperatures, the resulting heat stress exposure to workers in non-climate controlled settings is not well characterized, particularly in low and middle income countries. This preliminary report describes current heat stress in Nica-raguan work places and estimates occupational heat stress in 2050. From over 400 measurements of heat exposure using wet bulb globe temperature, more than 10% of all measurements exceeded the safety threshold for the combination of light work and rest at the ratio of 25:75.

Current and future heat stress in Nicaraguan work places under a changing climate.

Authors: 
Sheffield PE, Herrera JGR, Lemke B, Kjellstrom T, Romero LEB
Year: 
2013

While climate change continues to increase ambient temperatures, the resulting heat stress exposure to workers in non-climate controlled settings is not well characterized, particularly in low and middle income countries. This preliminary report describes current heat stress in Nicaraguan work places and estimates occupational heat stress in 2050. From over 400 measurements of heat exposure using wet bulb globe temperature, more than 10% of all measurements exceeded the safety threshold for the combination of light work and rest at the ratio of 25:75.

Association between heat stress and occupational injury among Thai workers: findings of the Thai Cohort Study

Authors: 
Tawatsupa B, Yiengprugsawan V, Kjellstrom T, Berecki-Gisolf J, Sebsman SA, Sleigh A
Year: 
2013

Global warming will increase heat stress at home and at work. Few studies have addressed the health consequences in tropical low and middle income settings such as Thailand. We report on the association between heat stress and workplace injury among workers enrolled in the large national Thai Cohort Study in 2005 (N=58,495).

Indoor climate implications of extreme outdoor climates

Authors: 
Smith KR, Kjellstrom T, Venugopal V, Lemke B, Lucas R
Year: 
2013

Background: Consensus climate modelling projects highly altered climates by 2100 with small but not low probabilities of reaching 6-9 deg mean annual increases in mean global temperature and much larger increases in some regions and seasons. Such temperatures imply increasingly large increases in areas where outdoor work is restricted because of physiological limits due to the local wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), a function mainly of temperature and humidity, but also considering wind and radiation.