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Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia

Zander, Kerstin K.; Botzen, Wouter J. W.; Oppermann, Elspeth; Kjellström, Tord LU and Garnett, Stephen T. (2015) In Nature Climate Change 5(7). p.647-651
Abstract
Heat stress at the workplace is an occupational health hazard that reduces labour productivity(1). Assessment of productivity loss resulting from climate change has so far been based on physiological models of heat exposure(1). These models suggest productivity may decrease by 11-27% by 2080 in hot regions such as Asia and the Caribbean(2), and globally by up to 20% in hot months by 2050(3). Using an approach derived from health economics, we describe self-reported estimates of work absenteeism and reductions in work performance caused by heat in Australia during 2013/201(4). We found that the annual costs were US$655 per person across a representative sample of 1,726 employed Australians. This represents an annual economic burden of... (More)
Heat stress at the workplace is an occupational health hazard that reduces labour productivity(1). Assessment of productivity loss resulting from climate change has so far been based on physiological models of heat exposure(1). These models suggest productivity may decrease by 11-27% by 2080 in hot regions such as Asia and the Caribbean(2), and globally by up to 20% in hot months by 2050(3). Using an approach derived from health economics, we describe self-reported estimates of work absenteeism and reductions in work performance caused by heat in Australia during 2013/201(4). We found that the annual costs were US$655 per person across a representative sample of 1,726 employed Australians. This represents an annual economic burden of around US$6.2 billion (95% CI: 5.2-7.3 billion) for the Australian workforce. This amounts to 0.33 to 0.47% of Australias GDP. Although this was a period when many Australians experienced what is at present considered exceptional heat(4), our results suggest that adaptation measures to reduce heat effects should be adopted widely if severe economic impacts from labour productivity loss are to be avoided if heat waves become as frequent as predicted. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature Climate Change
volume
5
issue
7
pages
647 - 651
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000356821900015
  • scopus:84932132715
ISSN
1758-6798
DOI
10.1038/NCLIMATE2623
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0f6637dd-2a48-4e12-b120-8772a14f8dc1 (old id 7584920)
date added to LUP
2015-07-23 08:05:07
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:04:06
@article{0f6637dd-2a48-4e12-b120-8772a14f8dc1,
  abstract     = {Heat stress at the workplace is an occupational health hazard that reduces labour productivity(1). Assessment of productivity loss resulting from climate change has so far been based on physiological models of heat exposure(1). These models suggest productivity may decrease by 11-27% by 2080 in hot regions such as Asia and the Caribbean(2), and globally by up to 20% in hot months by 2050(3). Using an approach derived from health economics, we describe self-reported estimates of work absenteeism and reductions in work performance caused by heat in Australia during 2013/201(4). We found that the annual costs were US$655 per person across a representative sample of 1,726 employed Australians. This represents an annual economic burden of around US$6.2 billion (95% CI: 5.2-7.3 billion) for the Australian workforce. This amounts to 0.33 to 0.47% of Australias GDP. Although this was a period when many Australians experienced what is at present considered exceptional heat(4), our results suggest that adaptation measures to reduce heat effects should be adopted widely if severe economic impacts from labour productivity loss are to be avoided if heat waves become as frequent as predicted.},
  author       = {Zander, Kerstin K. and Botzen, Wouter J. W. and Oppermann, Elspeth and Kjellström, Tord and Garnett, Stephen T.},
  issn         = {1758-6798},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {647--651},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature Climate Change},
  title        = {Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2623},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2015},
}