The “high occupational temperature health and productivity suppression” programme (Hothaps) is a multi-centre health research and prevention programme aimed at quantifying the extent to which working people are affected by, or adapt to, heat exposure while working, and how global heating during climate change may increase such effects. The programme will produce essential new evidence for local, national and global assessment of negative impacts of climate change that have largely been overlooked.
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.
Developed in collaboration with the ILO, the International Organization for Migration, UNI Global Union, the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Organization of Employers, and ACT Alliance, and together with the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the support of the the World Health Organisation, this report looks at the impact of rising temperatures due to climate change on the workforce.
The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change was established to provide an independent, global monitoring system dedicated to tracking the health dimensions of the impacts of, and the response to, climate change. The Lancet Countdown tracks 41 indicators across five domains: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; finance and economics; and public and political engagement.
Heatwaves are among the most dangerous natural hazards, being associated with considerable effects on the population. Under hot conditions the human body is able to regulate its core temperature via sweat evaporation, but this ability is reduced when the air humidity is very high. These conditions invoke heat stress which, in turn, may cause dehydration, hyperthermia and heat stroke. Heat stress is a major problem for vulnerable groups of the population and also constitutes an important threat for European workers with potential major impacts on workers' health and productivity.