The phenomenon of heat stress refers to heat received in excess of that which the body can tolerate without physiological impairment. It is one of the major consequences of global warming. By 2030, the equivalent of more than 2 per cent of total working hours worldwide is projected to be lost every year, either because it is too hot to work or because workers have to work at a slower pace. This report shows the impact of heat stress on productivity and decent work for virtually all countries in the world.
Health surveillance and workplace surveillance are two related but different aspects of occupational health services. The assessment of heat stress using heat indices and thermal models in connection with meteorological data is an important part of surveillance of workplace heat. The assessment of heat exposure provides the basis for occupational health services. Workers should have health surveillance if the high heat stress cannot be reduced.
Background: An important feature of climate change is increasing human heat exposure in workplaces without cooling systems in tropical and subtropical countries. Detailed gridded heat exposure maps will provide essential information for public health authorities. Objectives: To develop and test methods for calculating occupational heat exposures and present results in easily interpreted maps.
Climate change is increasing heat exposure in places such as Central America, a tropical region with generally hot/humid conditions. Working people are at particular risk of heat stress because of the intrabody heat production caused by physical labor. This article aims to describe the risks of occupational heat exposure on health and productivity in Central America, and to make tentative estimates of the impact of ongoing climate change on these risks.
Climate change will increase the average global temperature, but there will be substantial variation in local regions. A variety of potential health impacts have been identified. One issue of emerging concern is high heat exposure in workplaces, both indoors and outdoors. This is already a major problem for people with physically demanding work in places with very hot seasons each year. Heat stress creates physiological change, clinical health effects and lowered work capacity, which for some people reduces their hourly productivity and income. The economic
Heat stress is an important aspect in the lives of people working under exposed conditions for long hours. It is interesting to examine the impact of global warming on the occurrence of heat stress in India. This study uses India Meteorological Department (IMD) daily temperature gridded data to investigate the changes in frequency and episodes of extreme temperature events in seven temperature homogenous regions and the country as a whole by applying the guidelines suggested by the World Meteorological Organization ‘Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices’. It is
The WBGT heat stress index has been well tested under a variety of climatic conditions and quantitative links have been established between WBGT and the work-rest cycles needed to prevent heat stress effects at the workplace. While there are more specific methods based on individual physiological measurements to determine heat strain in an individual worker, the WBGT index is used in international and national standards to specify workplace heat stress risks.
First paragraph of book chapter: The human body has behavioural and physical mechanisms that work to maintain its core temperature at about 37°C. If the body’s internal temperature rises above this level, then body systems and vital physiological functions are compromised, and in severe cases, death can result. The climatic conditions relevant to such heat stress may be measured in terms of the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), which takes account of temperature, humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation.1 We calculate WBGT for in-shade (no