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Climate change and labor: Impacts of heat in the workplace

Source(s):  ACT Alliance (ACT)
Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)
International Labour Organization (ILO)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
International Organization of Employers
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
UNI Global Union
United Nations Development Programme - Headquarters (UNDP)
World Health Organization (WHO)

This publication explores the impact of climate change and global temperature increase of the workplace, shows examples of the current and likely future impacts and provides indications of policy response options to these challenges.

Rising heat levels driven by climate change are increasing health and economic risks for large shares of the global working population. Excessive heat while working, generally at temperatures above 35º Celsius, creates occupational health risks and reduces work capacity and labour productivity.

An emerging concern, most national climate or employment policies do not address the impact of climate change on health and productivity in the workplace, but new ILO Guidelines address occupational health and safety and social protection linked to climate change and provide a starting point for a more substantial response.

Actions are needed to protect workers and employers now and in the future, including low cost measures such as assured access to drinking water in workplaces, frequent rest breaks, and management of output targets, carried out with protection of income and other conditions of Decent Work.

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  • Climate change and labor: Impacts of heat in the workplace
  • Publication date 2016
  • Number of pages 36 p.

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