International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 63, Issue 12, pp 1693–1706 | Cite as

The nexus between social impacts and adaptation strategies of workers to occupational heat stress: a conceptual framework

  • Victor Fannam NunfamEmail author
  • Kwadwo Adusei-Asante
  • Eddie John Van Etten
  • Jacques Oosthuizen
  • Samuel Adams
  • Kwasi Frimpong
Review Paper


Adverse effects of occupational heat stress in the context of the changing climate on working populations are subtle but considerably harmful. However, social dimensions and impacts of climate change–related occupational heat concerns on workers’ safety and health, productivity and well-being are often overlooked or relegated as minor issues in social impact analyses of occupational heat exposure due to climate change. This paper offers a conceptual framework based on an appraisal and synthesis of the literature on social impacts of climate change–related occupational heat exposure on workers’ safety and health, productivity and social welfare and the quest to localise and achieve sustainable development goals. A sustained global, national, institutional and individual collaborative involvement and financial support for research, improved adaptation and social protection strategies, predominantly in the developing world, where a large number of people work outdoors, can reduce heat exposure and boost the resilience and adaptive capacity of workers to facilitate efforts to achieve sustainable development goals.


Adaptive capacity Global warming Work-related heat exposure Social health Sustainable development goals Working populations 



We acknowledge the support of the ECU Higher Degree by Research Scholarship (HDRS) for the provision of a PhD scholarship and the Human Research Ethics Committee of ECU (Project Number 17487) for ethical clearance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

484_2019_1775_MOESM1_ESM.docx (203 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 202 kb)


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© ISB 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Edith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Takoradi Technical UniversityTakoradiGhana
  3. 3.Ghana Institute of Management and Public AdministrationAccraGhana

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