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Soaring temperatures may up risk of workplace injuries: Study

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Exposure to moderate and extreme temperatures may significantly increase the of at the workplace, according to a study.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Perspectives, is the first to analyse data from an entire country and evaluate the economic impact.

Researchers from the for Global (ISGlobal) analysed data related to nearly 16 million occupational in between 1994 and 2013 that resulted in at least one day of sick leave.

The information was analysed in relation to the daily temperatures in the province where each occurred.

"Exposure to moderate to extreme temperatures may have played a role in over half a million of the that occurred during the study period," said Erica Martinez, a at ISGlobal.

The analysis found that, on average, some 60 leading to at least one lost workday occurred each day, accounting for 2.7 per cent of all in

Extremes of cold and heat increased the of by four per cent and nine per cent, respectively.

The biological mechanisms that link exposure to extreme ambient temperatures with the of occupational "are not yet fully understood," said Martinez.

The most common types of injuries analysed in the study were bone fractures and

"This suggests that the underlying mechanism could be related to impaired concentration or judgement, which would affect occupational safety," Martinez said.

Temperature-related effects were not limited to the day of exposure; a "pattern of delayed impact," possibly caused by and dehydration, was observed in the days following exposure.

The study also concluded that women appear to be more vulnerable to cold and men more vulnerable to heat.

This difference could be explained by the fact that women have lower sweat rates than men in hot climates, researchers said.

The youngest workers were the most vulnerable to heat, possibly because they tend to do more physically demanding work, they said.

As for the economic impact of non-optimal temperatures, the study found that temperature-related loss of working days had an annual cost of more than 360 million euros, representing 0.03 per cent of Spain's in 2015.

Moderately high temperatures contributed the most to the economic losses, researchers said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 16:00 IST
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