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

Publication Journal: 
Industrial Health
Publication Date: 
2013
Publication Abstract: 

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. By 2050, that percentage of “over-heated” days is projected to increase to over 15%. These findings support the idea that common working conditions in Nicaragua already represent a threat to the health and safety of the workers and that climate change driven trends could mean either a necessary curbing of economic productivity or an increased threat to worker health and safety.