Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Heat waves cost Australian economy billions in productivity



今回、Kerstin Zanderたちは、高温が従業員の生産性にどう影響するかを突き止めるため、オーストラリアの1,726人の成人労働者を対象とした調査を行った。この調査で、回答者の75%が職場での高温によって影響を受けたと申告し、70%が高温によって生産性が低下したことが1日以上あったと回答し、約7%が1日以上欠勤したと答えた。生産性の低下と非常に強く関連していたのが職務の身体的負担だった。Zanderたちは、生産性低下による年間平均損失額が1人当たり932米ドル(約11万円)、熱ストレスを理由とした欠勤による年間平均損失額を1人当たり845米ドル(約10万円)と推定している。


Absenteeism and reduced productivity due to heat stress may have cost the Australian economy an estimated US$6.2 billion in 2013/14, reports a paper published in Nature Climate Change.

Heat waves have become more frequent in Australia since 1950, and the number of heat waves is expected to increase with future climate change. Extreme heat is considered a dangerous natural hazard for the country, accounting for more deaths than all other natural hazards combined.

Kerstin Zander and colleagues surveyed 1,726 adults in the Australian workforce to establish how hot temperatures affect employees’ productivity. The authors found that 75% of respondents reported being affected by heat at their workplace, 70% said heat had made them less productive on at least one day, and about 7% missed work at least one day. Productivity loss was most strongly related to the physical requirements of an individual’s job. The authors estimate that the average loss due to reduced productivity amounts to US$932 per person per year, while it costs an average of US$845 per year for each person taking time off due to heat stress.

They suggest that workplaces should implement strategies such as reducing heat exposure and improving access to drinking water and fitness programmes to avoid significant economic losses if heat waves become as frequent and intense as predicted.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2623

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