ILO REPORT: SIX SEVERE CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released a report warning that over 70% of the world's workers face health, safety, and mental health risks due to climate change, and highlights six main risks.

  1. Excessive heat: Affects about 2.4 billion workers, leading to heat-related illnesses and physical injuries
  2. UV Radiation: Harms outdoor workers, causing sunburn, weakened immune systems, and skin cancers.
  3. Extreme weather events: Impact medical personnel, firefighters, and emergency workers.
  4. Workplace air pollution: Especially harmful to outdoor workers, causing lung and cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Vector-borne diseases: Like malaria and dengue, causing thousands of work-related deaths each year, mainly in outdoor occupations.
  6. Agrochemicals: Used to counter climate effects, causing health issues in agriculture and chemical industry workers

The report notes global safety and health protections are struggling to address these evolving risks. Each year, millions of injuries and deaths are linked to these hazards, including pesticide poisoning and air pollution.

Climate change also affects mental health, leading to higher risks of PTSD, depression, and anxiety among workers, particularly first responders and disaster relief workers. Heat exposure can disrupt sleep and concentration, while extreme weather events can increase job tension and hostility in the workplace.

Access the ILO’s Ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate report here

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