Air temperatures and occupational injuries in the construction industries: a report from Northern Italy (2000-2013)

Ind Health. 2020 Apr 2;58(2):182-192. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2018-0268. Epub 2019 Sep 21.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between environmental temperatures and occupational injuries (OIs) in construction workers (CWs) from a subalpine region of North-Eastern Italy. Data about OIs from 2000 to 2013, and daily weather for the specific site of the events were retrieved. Risk for daily OIs was calculate through a Poisson regression model. Estimated daily incidence for OIs was 5.7 (95%CI 5.5-5.8), or 2.8 OIs/10,000 workers/d (95%CI 2.7-2.9), with higher rates for time periods characterized by high temperatures (daily maximum ≥35°C), both in first 2 d (3.57, 95%CI 3.05-4.11) and from the third day onwards (i.e. during Heat Waves: 3.43, 95%CI 3.08-3.77). Higher risk for OIs was reported in days characterized temperatures ≥95th percentile (OR 1.145, 95%CI 1.062-1.235), summer days (daily maximum ≥25°C , OR 1.093, 95%CI 1.042-1.146). On the contrary, no significant increased risk was found for OIs having a more severe prognosis (≥40 d or more; death). In conclusion, presented findings recommend policymakers to develop appropriate procedures and guidelines, in particular aimed to improve the compliance of younger CWs towards severe-hot daily temperatures.

Keywords: Climate change; Construction workers; Heat exposure; Heat wave; Hot weather; Occupational injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Construction Industry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays / adverse effects
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Injuries / mortality
  • Seasons
  • Temperature*