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Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia

Zander, Kerstin K., Botzen, Wouter J. W., Oppermann, Elspeth, Kjellstrom, Tord and Garnett, Stephen T. (2015). Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia. Nature Climate Change,5(7):647-652.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB237
Title Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia
Author Zander, Kerstin K.
Botzen, Wouter J. W.
Oppermann, Elspeth
Kjellstrom, Tord
Garnett, Stephen T.
Journal Name Nature Climate Change
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 5
Issue Number 7
ISSN 1758-6798   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84932132715
Start Page 647
End Page 652
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Heat stress at the workplace is an occupational health hazard that reduces labour productivity1. Assessment of productivity loss resulting from climate change has so far been based on physiological models of heat exposure1. These models suggest productivity may decrease by 11–27% by 2080 in hot regions such as Asia and the Caribbean2, and globally by up to 20% in hot months by 20503. 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 2013/2014. 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 Australia’s GDP. Although this was a period when many Australians experienced what is at present considered exceptional heat4, 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.
Keywords Business
Climate change
Climate-change impacts
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Created: Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 13:02:16 CST