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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 70; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010070

The Impact of Heat Waves on Occurrence and Severity of Construction Accidents

School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, Australia
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Academic Editors: Albert P. C. Chan and Wen Yi
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 11 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effecting a Safe and Healthy Environment in Construction)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [295 KB, uploaded 11 January 2017]

Abstract

The impact of heat stress on human health has been extensively studied. Similarly, researchers have investigated the impact of heat stress on workers’ health and safety. However, very little work has been done on the impact of heat stress on occupational accidents and their severity, particularly in South Australian construction. Construction workers are at high risk of injury due to heat stress as they often work outdoors, undertake hard manual work, and are often project based and sub-contracted. Little is known on how heat waves could impact on construction accidents and their severity. In order to provide more evidence for the currently limited number of empirical investigations on the impact of heat stress on accidents, this study analysed 29,438 compensation claims reported during 2002–2013 within the construction industry of South Australia. Claims reported during 29 heat waves in Adelaide were compared with control periods to elicit differences in the number of accidents reported and their severity. The results revealed that worker characteristics, type of work, work environment, and agency of accident mainly govern the severity. It is recommended that the implementation of adequate preventative measures in small-sized companies and civil engineering sites, targeting mainly old age workers could be a priority for Work, Health and Safety (WHS) policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: construction; heat wave; accident; severity; compensation claim; Adelaide construction; heat wave; accident; severity; compensation claim; Adelaide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rameezdeen, R.; Elmualim, A. The Impact of Heat Waves on Occurrence and Severity of Construction Accidents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 70.

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