Climate change is no longer a distant threat but a stark reality affecting every facet of human life. Beyond its environmental implications, climate change poses significant risks to occupational safety and health (OSH) across various industries. As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense, workers face heightened dangers in their workplaces. Understanding these impacts is crucial for implementing effective measures to safeguard workers and ensure sustainable economic activities.

Climate change has resulted in weather and climate extremes around the globe as evidenced by the increase in frequency and severity of heatwaves, heavy rainfall, floods, landslides and droughts in our countries.

Climate change related hazards have been linked to numerous health effects, including but not limited to, cancer and respiratory conditions. The financial implications are also considerable due to lost productivity, business disruptions and damaged infrastructure.

Workers are increasingly facing serious health impacts from climate charge related hazards.

Some Impacts of Climate Change on Occupational Health and Safety include:

Impact Workers at Risk Health Impact
Excessive Heat/Rising temperatures. Outdoor Workers especially in physically demanding jobs and indoor workers in poorly ventilated workplaces where temperature is not regulated. Heat stress, heat stroke, Exhaustion, skin rash, cramps, organ injury, and physical injury among others.
Ultraviolet Radiation (UV radiation can be especially hazardous for workers, as they may be unaware that they are being exposed to dangerously high levels). Outdoor workers. Sun burn, skin blistering, weakened immune systems, and skin cancer among others.
Workplace Air Pollution/Air Quality degradation. All workers particularly outdoor workers. Cancer (lung), respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease.


Agrochemicals Agriculture, plantations, chemical industries. Poisoning, cancer, reproductive disorders, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immune suppression.


Impact on Mental Health All workers. Constant exposure to environmental degradation. Extreme weather events can lead to Heightened stress, anxiety and depression


Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies:

To mitigate the impacts of climate change on OSH, proactive measures must be taken at individual, organizational, and policy levels. Implementing heat stress management programs, providing adequate hydration and rest breaks, and utilizing engineering controls such as shade structures can help protect workers from heat-related illnesses. Additionally, investing in climate-resilient infrastructure, and enhancing emergency preparedness can minimize the risks posed by extreme weather events.

At Q Sourcing Servtec and our affiliated partners we need to recognize the interconnectedness of climate change and OSH and be proactive as individuals and as a company and develop comprehensive strategies to mitigate these risks and foster a safer working environment for us all.

Addressing climate change is not only an environmental imperative but also a moral and economic imperative, ensuring a secure and prosperous future for generations to come.

“If you really think the Environment is less important than the economy, try counting your money while you hold your breath” Guy McPherson