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Heat stress and work in the era of climate change: what we know, and what we need to learn

Climate change Extreme weather events Heat stress Occupational health and safety Australia

This report, by a team of authors based at the Climate Justice Research Centre at UTS, interviewed workers and trade union officials in several industries, and confirmed that working in excess heat is becoming a more common occupational health and safety risk.

The report documents the negative effects of excess heat on physical health, mental alertness, and stress. It also compiled an inventory of union initiatives and workplace best practices for reducing and manage the risks of heat stress.

Key findings:

  • Heat stress poses serious health and safety risks for many workers across Australia
  • Current labour protections, including health and safety laws, are inadequate
  • The conditions of a person’s employment fundamentally shape their experience of heat stress
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