Current and future heat stress in Nicaraguan work places under a changing climate

Perry E. Sheffield, Juan Gabriel Ruiz Herrera, Bruno Lemke, Tord Kjellstrom, Luis E.Blanco Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

While climate change continues to increase ambient temperatures, the resulting heat stress exposure to workers in non-climate controlled settings is not well characterized, particularly in low and middle income countries. This preliminary report describes current heat stress in Nicaraguan work places and estimates occupational heat stress in 2050. From over 400 measurements of heat exposure using wet bulb globe temperature, more than 10% of all measurements exceeded the safety threshold for the combination of light work and rest at the ratio of 25:75. By 2050, that percentage of "over-heated" days is projected to increase to over 15%. These findings support the idea that common working conditions in Nicaragua already represent a threat to the health and safety of the workers and that climate change driven trends could mean either a necessary curbing of economic productivity or an increased threat to worker health and safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalIndustrial Health
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Global health
  • Thermal stress
  • WBGT
  • Work environments

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