Heat stress causes a significant burden on the health of workers. Workplace interventions, such as adequate water supply, shaded rest, improved sanitation, and ergonomic improvements to reduce physical effort can improve health and reduce social and economic burden. In its policy brief, ENBEL, a European project aimed at connecting health and climate change research, warns that a large portion of the costs associated with occupational heat stress (e.g. treating kidney disease, work days lost) are borne by families and low-income households. Prevention is cost effective with a positive return of investment on workers’ health, medical costs and increased productivity. Evidence-based new legislation and occupational heat-health guidelines are needed to protect workers, requiring private and public sector coordination. Monitoring of the implementation of workplace interventions and labour practices is essential to ensure compliance.

The policy briefs can be consulted at ENBEL's website

Reference information


The ENBEL project supports EU policy making by bringing together leaders in climate change and health research through a network of major international health and climate research projects under the Belmont Forum’s Collaborative Research Action (CRA), Societal Challenge 1 and 5 of EU’s Horizon 2020, and other national and international funding schemes. This network develops evidence syntheses and co-produces with stakeholders a series of tailor-made knowledge products. The key thematic focus is on environmental and occupational heat, air pollution (including from wildfires) and climate-sensitive infectious diseases, with specific attention given to high-risk groups and populations.

Published in Climate-ADAPT Aug 14, 2023   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Apr 4, 2024

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