A recent study by researchers at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation's Center for Resiliency showed that extreme heat costs the US more than $100 billion annually.
The report points out that one of the main consequences of high temperatures is reduced productivity, since extreme heat also affects the cognitive abilities of workers, as mentioned in a study this year carried out by Chinese researchers.
In addition, the figure raised is expected to double by 2030 with the increase in energy and health services. High temperatures can affect many areas such as factories, warehouses, the agricultural sector, restaurants, among others.
Workers Can Be Injured
According to Coral Davenport, a News reporter, “medical researchers have known for decades that when workers they are exposed to high temperatures, more than 85 degrees, more than 95 degrees, they are more likely to make mistakes, suffer injuries and work more slowly,” she told CBS.
In addition, the specialist explained that “Economic researchers have only just begun to figure out that this really has a big impact on the whole economy for those reasons,” he said, adding: “It's easily a couple million dollar investment, and that's not an investment many employers feel they can make”.
According to labor economist and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania R. Jisung Park, heat shocks can cause workers to suffer injuries. “We have a ‘perfect’ in which we perform optimally. When you push us beyond that zone, the body tries to maintain stability, but it's more demanding and we make more mistakes,” he said.
According to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, they are currently working on regulations that seek to protect workers most exposed to heat waves, although some employers oppose the measures due to the high costs that this entails.
Businesses and companies must also make their investments to protect their employees, for example; the high consumption of mercury in the work environment due to the perennial use of air conditioners that in the long run harms the health of its workers.