Energy & Environment

How Heatwaves Jeopardize Workers’ Safety and Damage Economic Output – International Labour Organization Report Reveals

Heatwaves affects

Increasing temperatures Heatwaves across the globe continue to threaten worker safety and impact communities with the least ability to adapt, according to an ILO economist.

The World Meteorological Organization reports this July will be the hottest ever.

Aside from threatening the environment, heatwaves also pose additional obstacles to countries striving to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8, which calls for sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

Nicolas Maitre stated that when temperatures exceed 24-26°C (75-79°F), work productivity decreases significantly. It is even more dramatic in hot conditions of 33-34°C ( up to a 50% drop can be expected in labor intensive jobs. Heat stress does not exclusively happen outdoors, but also inside factories lacking air conditioning. In terms of sectors, agriculture and construction are particularly impacted, with global productivity losses attributed to climate change amounting to 60%, mainly due to agricultural work. Still, any physically demanding job which requires being exposed to the sun or wearing protective clothing for long hours carries this risk.

The number of breaks, improved access to water, adapting working hours, and rotating workers are all effective ways to reduce heat. Workers should also wear appropriate clothing, drink regularly, and have routine self-health checks.

The evidence indicates that this is becoming an issue in temperate countries, but the problem isn’t the same everywhere. For example, in Southeast Asia, the problem is constant year round, whereas in Europe, the problem primarily occurs during summer heat waves. As we implement sustainable adaptation measures in hot countries, we might consider measures triggered by a specific temperature in temperate ones.

Developing these measures is very important for the government. In addition to triggering situational adaptation measures, governments can also set up regulatory frameworks within countries to address the issue of heat stress. While it might be expensive, the loss of productivity is also expensive.

Also Read:

Editorial Director
I'm Shruti Mishra, Editorial Director @Newsblare Media, growing up in the bustling city of New Delhi, I was always fascinated by the power of words. This love for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in journalism. In this position, I oversee the editorial team and plan out content strategies for our digital news platform. I am constantly seeking new ways to engage readers with thought-provoking and impactful stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *