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Climate change and occupational safety and health: establishing a preliminary framework.
J Occup Environ Hyg 2009 Sep; 6(9):542-554
The relationship between global climate change and occupational safety and health has not been extensively characterized. To begin such an effort, it may be useful to develop a framework for identifying how climate change could affect the workplace; workers; and occupational morbidity, mortality, and injury. This article develops such a framework based on a review of the published scientific literature from 1988-2008 that includes climatic effects, their interaction with occupational hazards, and their manifestation in the working population. Seven categories of climate-related hazards are identified: (1) increased ambient temperature, (2) air pollution, (3) ultraviolet exposure, (4) extreme weather, (5) vector-borne diseases and expanded habitats, (6) industrial transitions and emerging industries; and (7) changes in the built environment. This review indicates that while climate change may result in increasing the prevalence, distribution, and severity of known occupational hazards, there is no evidence of unique or previously unknown hazards. However, such a possibility should not be excluded, since there is potential for interactions of known hazards and new conditions leading to new hazards and risks.
Air-quality; Biological-effects; Biological-factors; Biological-monitoring; Biological-systems; Biostatistics; Chemical-properties; Chemical-reactions; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-physiology; Environmental-pollution; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Industrial-environment; Industrial-exposures; Industrial-hazards; Industrial-processes; Industrial-psychology; Industrial-safety; Industrial-ventilation; Injury-prevention; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Occupational-sociology; Risk-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Worker-health; Work-operations; Work-organization; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Author Keywords: biological hazards; climate change; heat stress; UV radiation; worker health
Paul A. Schulte, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS C-14, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division