Sweden-India cooperation on protection of working people from health and productivity risks due to workplace heat exposure and the links to climate change.

The overall aim of this project is to contribute to poverty reductions and equitable and sustainable development by fostering healthier working conditions and systems that protect the incomes of the poor when climate change undermines work productivity due to workplace heat exposure.

Key people – In Sweden: Prof Tord Kjellstrom (PI), Dr Rebekah Lucas, Dr Maria Nilsson from Umeå University, Prof Ingvar Holmer, Assoc prof Kalev Kuklane, Karin Lundgren from Lund University. In India: Prof Vidhya Venugopal from Sri Ramachandra University. Dr Pranab Nag from National Institute of Occupational Health.
Project summary - It is well established that high heat exposure is detrimental to health and performance. For most workers the simplest way to protect themselves from the heat is to slow down and take more and longer breaks. However, this results in reduced daily work productivity and income. The conflict between health protection and income maintenance in hot environments is an economic and social problem of particular importance to millions of poor people in high, middle and low income countries. This project deals with workplace heat effects on working peoples’ health and productivity. This is an issue of particular important in tropical low and middle income countries, and the negative effects affect poor people and women more than the average person. This issue has been over looked in almost all global reports on climate and climate change socio-economic impacts. Further analysis of the problem and testing of preventative methods is therefore highly relevant.
This project aims to address this problem by using innovative prevention approaches that are tested in real workplace situations in India. Results from the project will focus on health protection, productivity enhancement and poverty reduction in India, but will also be of value to global health research and practice in other countries.
Status – Ongoing

Umeå universitet