Special Issue "Climate Change: An Often-Missed Cause of Occupational Injuries?"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Matteo Riccò
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: healthcare; occupational injuries; environmental temperatures; health-environment interaction;
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Vincenza Gianfredi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Università Vita Salute-San Raffaele, Milano, Italy
Interests: epidemiology; prevention; infectious diseases; biological risk in occupational settings and its prevention; vaccine preventable disease
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are soliciting articles for this special Issue of IJERPH, which is entitled "Climate change: an often-missed cause of occupational injuries?" Mean annual air temperatures are globally getting hotter. As recently stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming from pre- industrial levels to the decade 2006–2015 ranges between 0.75°C and 0.99°C, with a significant surge in both magnitude and frequency of extreme events such as heatwaves (HWs). In the past decades, biomedical research has typically focused on the effects of the climate change on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, while studies on the impact of the environmental heat focused on highly vulnerable residential groups (e.g. elderly, people affected by chronic diseases, etc.), particularly after the major events of 1995 (North America) and 2003 (Western Europe). More recently, high environmental temperatures have been associated with an increased risk of occupational injuries, particularly for settings characterized by a combination of environmental exposure, uncontrolled heat sources, and strenuous muscular work. As the climate change effects seem to worsen, with 20 to 40% of human population that during 2006-2015 has already experienced a mean warming of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial, understanding the impact of environmental factors on the workforce has become a public health priority.

The primary objective of this special issue will be therefore to evaluate the relationship between climate factors and occupational injuries. Authors are therefore solicited to contribute with their original researches on the association between environmental factors (including, but not limited to: high air temperatures, temperature variability, extreme climate events, air pollution) and the occurrence of occupational events; the actual and/or potential impact of preventive measures designed and implemented by national and local stakeholders; the understanding of the health threat represented by climate change in the occupational settings. Studies on the physiology of working in high, uncomfortable temperatures, and on the impacts of climate change on the ecology of work-related infectious diseases will be highly appreciated.

Dr. Matteo Riccò
Dr. Nicola Luigi Bragazzi
Dr. Vincenza Gianfredi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmental exposure
  • occupational health
  • climate change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Climate Change Impacts and Workforce Development Needs in Federal Region X: A Qualitative Study of Occupational Health and Safety Professionals’ Perceptions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1513; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041513 - 05 Feb 2021
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Climate change is considered one of the top health threats in the United States. This research sought to (1) to understand the perceptions of occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals regarding the impacts of climate-related hazards on OHS in Region X, and (2) [...] Read more.
Climate change is considered one of the top health threats in the United States. This research sought to (1) to understand the perceptions of occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals regarding the impacts of climate-related hazards on OHS in Region X, and (2) to explore the ideas of these OHS professionals regarding the content of future training programs that would better prepare OHS professionals to identify and mitigate climate-related hazards in Region X. Key informant (KI) interviews with 17 OHS professionals familiar with the climate-related hazards and impacts to OHS in Region X were coded and thematically analyzed. Climate hazards, social and economic impacts from climate-related hazards, and sector-specific worker and workplace impacts from climate-related hazards were described as having interacting relationships that influenced worker health and safety impacts. KIs further described how workplace controls could be used to mitigate OHS impacts of climate-related hazards, and how training of the OHS workforce could influence the ability to successfully implement such controls. Our findings suggest that OHS impacts are sector-specific, influenced by social and economic factors, and can be mitigated through workplace controls designed and implemented by a trained OHS workforce. The findings from this work should inform future educational and training programming and additional research and translation activities in the region, while our approach can inform other regions as they develop regionally specific OHS climate change training and programming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change: An Often-Missed Cause of Occupational Injuries?)
Article
Wet Bulb Globe Temperature and Recorded Occupational Injury Rates among Sugarcane Harvesters in Southwest Guatemala
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8195; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17218195 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 573
Abstract
As global temperatures continue to rise it is imperative to understand the adverse effects this will pose to workers laboring outdoors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between increases in wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) and risk of occupational [...] Read more.
As global temperatures continue to rise it is imperative to understand the adverse effects this will pose to workers laboring outdoors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between increases in wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) and risk of occupational injury or dehydration among agricultural workers. We used data collected by an agribusiness in Southwest Guatemala over the course of four harvest seasons and Poisson generalized linear modelling for this analysis. Our analyses suggest a 3% increase in recorded injury risk with each degree increase in daily average WBGT above 30 °C (95% CI: −6%, 14%). Additionally, these data suggest that the relationship between WBGT and injury risk is non-linear with an additional 4% acceleration in risk for every degree increase in WBGT above 30 °C (95% CI: 0%, 8%). No relationship was found between daily average WBGT and risk of dehydration. Our results indicate that agricultural workers are at an increased risk of occupational injury in humid and hot environments and that businesses need to plan and adapt to increasing global temperatures by implementing and evaluating effective occupational safety and health programs to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change: An Often-Missed Cause of Occupational Injuries?)
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