Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

A Novel Tool for Preliminary Risk Assessment of Climate Change on Workers' Health and Safety in Outdoor Worksites

Marcello Bragliaa, Francesco Di Pacob, Marco Frosolinic, Roberto Gabbriellid and Leonardo Marrazzinie

Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy.


Nowadays, there has been considerable research regarding the public health and environmental aspects of Climate Change, but the literature on the potential impacts of Climate Change on the health and safety of outdoor workers has received limited attention. Outdoor workers which include, by a way of example, agricultural, construction, and transportation workers, and other workers exposed to outdoor weather conditions, are exposed at increased risk of heat stress and other heat-related ailments, extreme weather, and occupational injuries due to Climate Change-related issues. Climate Change is increasing environmental temperatures and extreme weather events, affecting air pollution and the distribution of pesticides and pathogens. The implementation of enhanced occupational health and safety measures that can cope with the effects of Climate Change on workers is a key step towards the adaptation perspective that must be embraced to ensure a safer and more sustainable future for the workers. In this paper, a new tool named Climate Change - House of Safety (CC-HoS) is designed to address new risks and to carry out in an effective way the risk assessment considering specifically the risks related to Climate Change. The CC-HoS, derived from the House of Safety (HoS), aims to investigate the direct (i.e., warming, extreme weather, …) and indirect impacts (i.e., air pollution, UV exposure, vector-born disease, …) of Climate Change on workers' health and safety in outdoor worksites. This tool can correctly identify and assess risks through the Risk Priority Number (RPN) in terms of Severity, Detectability, and Occurrence criteria, while determining the most suitable safety devices and preventive/protective measures to manage the previously identified risks. The proposed approach is applied to a company operating in the agricultural sector. The effectiveness and usefulness of the tool for selecting the most effective technical solutions to mitigate risks related to Climate Change are presented in the case study.

Keywords: Climate change, Risk assessment, Health and safety, Outdoor workers, House of safety.

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