Climate CHIP Publications

Climate change and occupational health and safety in a temperature climate: Potential impacts and research priorities in Quebec, Canada

Authors: 
Adam-Poupart A, Labrèche F, Smargiassi A, Duguay P, Busque MA, Gagné C, Rintamäki H, Kjellstrom T, Zayed J.
Year: 
2013

The potential impacts of climate change (CC) on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) have been studied a little in tropical countries, while they received no attention in northern industrialized countries with a temperate climate. This work aimed to establish an overview of the potential links between CC and OHS in those countries and to determine research priorities for Quebec, Canada. A narrative review of the scientific literature (2005-2010) was presented to a working group of international and national experts and stakeholders during a workshop held in 2010.

Mapping Occupational Heat Exposure and Effects in South-East Asia: Ongoing Time Trends 1980−2011 and Future Estimates to 2050

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lemke B, Otto M
Year: 
2013

A feature of climate impacts on occupational health and safety are physiological limits to carrying out physical work at high heat exposure. Heat stress reduces a workers work capacity, leading to lower hourly labour productivity and economic output. We used existing weather sta-tion data and climate modeling grid cell data to describe heat conditions (calculated as Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, WBGT) in South-East Asia.

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.

Heat exposure in sugar cane harvesters in Costa Rica

Authors: 
Crowe J, Wesseling C, Roman Solano B, Pinto Umana M, Robles Ramirez A, Kjellstrom T, Morales D, Nilsson M
Year: 
2013

BACKGROUND: Occupational heat stress is a major concern in sugarcane production and has been hypothesized as a causal factor of a chronic kidney disease epidemic in Central America. This study described working conditions of sugarcane harvesters in Costa Rica and quantified their exposure to heat. METHODS: Non-participatory observation and Wet Bulb Globe Temperatures (WBGT) according to Spanish NTP (Technical Prevention Notes) guidelines were utilized to quantify the risk of heat stress. OSHA recommendations were used to identify corresponding exposure limit values. RESULTS:

Working in Australia’s heat: health promotion concerns for health and productivity

Authors: 
Singh S, Hanna L, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2013

This exploratory study describes the experiences arising from exposure to extreme summer heat, and the related health protection and promotion issues for working people in Australia. Twenty key informants representing different industry types and occupational groups or activities in Australia provided semi-structured interviews concerning: (i) perceptions of workplace heat exposure in the industry they represented, (ii) reported impacts on health and productivity, as well as (iii) actions taken to reduce exposure or effects of environmental heat exposure.

Sustainability challenges from climate change and air conditioning use in urban areas

Authors: 
Lundgren K, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2013

Global climate change increases heat loads in urban areas causing health and productivity risks for millions of people. Inhabitants in tropical and subtropical urban areas are at especial risk due to high population density, already high temperatures, and temperature increases due to climate change. Air conditioning is growing rapidly, especially in South and South-East Asia due to income growth and the need to protect from high heat exposures.

Mapping occupational heat exposure and effects in South-East Asia: Ongoing time trends 1980-2009 and future estimates to 2050

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lemke B, Otto M
Year: 
2013

A feature of climate impacts on occupational health and safety are physiological limits to carrying out physical work at high heat exposure. Heat stress reduces a workers work capacity, leading to lower hourly labour productivity and economic output. We used existing weather station data and climate modeling grid cell data to describe heat conditions (calculated as Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, WBGT) in South-East Asia.

Occupational health and safety impacts of climate conditions

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lemke B, Venugopal V. In: Pielke R.
Year: 
2013

Climate conditions in workplaces are occupational health hazards that need to be taken into account when assessing population vulnerability to climate conditions and climate changes. Very cold as well as very hot work environments can create thermal stress beyond what human physiology can cope with. All human populations have a normal core body temperature in the range 36–37 °C, and even a few degrees higher or lower body temperature, due to surrounding climate conditions, can lead to serious health effects.