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.

Energy poverty and public health: assesing the impacts from solid cook-fuel.

Authors: 
Kalpana Balakrishnan Zoë Chafe Tord Kjellstrom Thomas E. McKone Kirk R. Smith. In (Eds) Antoine Halff, Benjamin K. Sovacool, and Jon Rozhon
Year: 
2014

Energy services are required for health; insufficient access to energy services constitutes a health risk. But energy supplies that are dirty, dangerous, and environmentally disruptive can lead to disease, injury, and death. About 2.8 billion people, mostly in developing countries, rely on solid fuels (wood, coal, charcoal, and dung) for household energy needs. Some 3.5 million people die prematurely each year from direct exposure to household air pollution from solid fuels.

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.

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.

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: