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ILO’s Report: Impact of Climate Change on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)


Why is it in the news?

  • International Labour Organization (ILO) released a report titled ‘Ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate’.

Key Findings

  • Approximately 2.09 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are attributed to excessive heat annually, with workers in hot climates, especially agricultural and outdoor labourers, at higher risk.
  • Climate change contributes to various health conditions among workers, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney dysfunction, and mental health issues.
  • Women in roles like subsistence agriculture may face increased risk due to climate-related factors.
  • Those with disabilities are particularly vulnerable due to factors like poverty and lower educational attainment.
  • An estimated 100,000 farmers in India committed suicide between 1993 and 2003, attributed to issues such as water shortages and decreased crop yields.

Existing International Labor Standards

  • Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Conventions: Including the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981, and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006.
  • Specific Conventions Addressing Hazards: Such as the Plantations Convention, 1958, for excessive heat, and the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise, and Vibration) Convention, 1977, for air pollution.

Recommendations

  • Coordination among government departments is essential for coherent OSH policies and programs.
  • Targeted national-level policies combined with effective workplace preventive measures are crucial.
  • A global response is necessary, utilizing both mitigation and adaptation strategies to tackle the impacts of climate change on OSH.

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