Occupational Heat Stress Profiles in Selected Workplaces in India
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 13, no 1, UNSP 89Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Health and productivity impacts from occupational heat stress have significant ramifications for the large workforce of India. This study profiled occupational heat stress impacts on the health and productivity of workers in select organized and unorganized Indian work sectors. During hotter and cooler seasons, Wet Bulb Globe Temperatures (WBGT) were used to quantify the risk of heat stress, according to International workplace guidelines. Questionnaires assessed workers' perceived health and productivity impacts from heat stress. A total of 442 workers from 18 Indian workplaces participated (22% and 78% from the organized and unorganized sector, respectively). Overall 82% and 42% of workers were exposed to higher than recommended WBGT during hotter and cooler periods, respectively. Workers with heavy workloads reported more heat-related health issues (chi square = 23.67, p <= 0.001) and reduced productivity (chi square = 15.82, p <= 0.001), especially the outdoor workers. Heat-rashes, dehydration, heat-syncope and urinogenital symptoms were self-reported health issues. Cited reasons for productivity losses were: extended-work hours due to fatigue/exhaustion, sickness/hospitalization and wages lost. Reducing workplace heat stress will benefit industries and workers via improving worker health and productivity. Adaptation and mitigation measures to tackle heat stress are imperative to protect the present and future workforce as climate change progresses.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 13, no 1, UNSP 89
occupational heat stress, health impacts, perception, prevention
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120371DOI: 10.3390/ijerph13010089ISI: 000374186100011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120371DiVA: diva2:928673