Heat is a well recognized and preventable occupational health and safety hazard, often present along with other factors of heat stress, such as strenuous work, personal protective equipment or exposure to sun radiation, etc. Heat damages human health, safety and well-being. Recent research shows that, in addition to heat-related illnesses (such as heat stroke), exposure increases the impact of environmental toxics and the rate of injury. It also impairs cognition and mental performance, and reduces productivity.
As heat waves are more frequent, intense and are lasting more days, summers are registering higher daily temperatures and there is an increase in the number of tropical nights, as a consequence of climate change, heat events are a OHS reality to be dealt with in many companies.
Today, even if OHS EU Directives include a clear mandate for preventive action based on hazard identification and risk assessment, no formal requirements exist for employers in whose companies workers can be affected by heatwave events to prepare beforehand to implement adaptations during those events.
Recent EU, ILO and WHO statements endorse the development of public policies for adaptation for heat events, to allow the continuity of productive activity with full protection of health and safety of the working population, in particular for those most exposed and socially vulnerable.
In the coming period, anticipated heatwaves preparation by companies will be an issue to be negotiated at different dialogue and bargaining levels and sectors. Studying factors that push for, and inhibit, participation of social agents in social dialogue for OHS protection under heat waves is an industrial relations issue that fits with European policy aims.
This project will study public OHS policies, social dialogue and collective bargaining experiences, at different levels, in five countries (IT, HU, NL, GR, ES) and at the EU and will learn how social actors are addressing climate change adaptation challenges, in different industrial relations, socio-economic and political contexts.
The research will produce a final comparative report and a short leaflet in five languages. Those products will be presented at an international Conference at the end of the project, (June 2024) in Brussels.
Contact and coordination:
- Fundación 1º de Mayo // Sergio Salas Nicas // email@example.com
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.