The following main topics will be covered in four parallel symposia:
S1: Heat, UV radiation and solar exposure, extreme weather
Climate change increases the heat exposure of all workers and outdoor workers’ exposure to solar UV radiation in different ways. In particular, longer periods of severe heat and/or an increasing amount of sunny periods lead to higher exposures. Higher temperatures may not only affect mental and physical performance and, thus, enhance stress. Moreover, dehydration and accidents are likely to appear more often. Heat also leads to extreme weather situations, requiring special measures for OSH. An overexposure to solar UV radiation results into acute skin and eye damages and injuries, whereas skin cancers and cataracts are the consequences of a long-time exposure. During this workshop, we will discuss the current state of the art in OSH-research as well as in protective measures applied in today’s praxis and prospectively in the future. Research gaps are identified, suitable measures are derived and potentials for future international cooperation are discussed in order to facilitate healthy and safe work under the altered conditions of climate change.
S2: Spread of infectious and allergic diseases
Climate changes are predicted to have significant impacts on ecosystems and the organisms they contain, particularly through changes in precipitation and rising temperatures. In principle, it can be assumed that anthropogenic climate change, in addition to globalisation, will lead to expanded distribution areas of many species in previously colder regions. Alongside, it is expected that infectious and allergic diseases induced by “new” pathogens or allergens may appear or occur more frequently in areas where they are currently not or seldom observed. In this workshop, we will discuss the current status of vector borne diseases and workplace-related allergies as well as protective measures in practice today and in perspective for the future. Research gaps are to be identified, suitable measures derived and potentials for future international cooperation discussed in order to enable healthy and safe working under the dynamic conditions of climate change.
S3: Decarbonization, circular economy, alternative energy
Droughts and floods have also increased in the G7 countries in recent years. These are undoubtedly the first signs of man-made climate change. If we want to limit the effects in the long term, decarbonization is absolutely necessary. This concerns a broad field and already has a considerable impact on safety and health at work: Renewable energies such as wind power, photovoltaic cells and biogas plants, mobility by new propulsion technologies (batteries, hydrogen) and circular economy including a better durability of goods and carbon capture and storage.
S4: Psychological effects of climate change: impacts and strategies
Climate change effects our safety and health at the workplace – including our mental health. This influence takes direct and indirect pathways in the short-term as well as in the long-term. Also the mere awareness of climate change in our daily life can lead to altered emotional states and thus, affect our daily life. In this symposium we will investigate the psychological impact of climate change, potential threats, and measures to prevent possible hazards in our working life. During this symposium, we will discuss the current state of the art in research dealing with climate change and psychological effects and possible protective measures. Research gaps are identified, suitable measures are derived and potentials for future international synergies are discussed in order to facilitate healthy and safe work under the altered conditions of climate change.
German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV)
Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA)