‘Zonked the hell out’: Climate change and heat stress at work

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Economic and Labour Relations Review, 2022, 33, (2), pp. 256-271
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Climate change is most directly felt by people who cannot escape its impacts, including workers whose source of livelihood may put them directly at risk from high heat. Research on these impacts for Australian workers, especially the sociopolitical determinants of effective workplace heat management, remains limited. This article presents findings from a national research project that investigated these issues in collaboration with the Australia-based United Workers Union. It reports on the experiences of members exposed to high heat, explores how they address heat stress and how they relate this to climate change. The article expands understanding of the impacts of workplace heat, especially for indoor workers and those in lower paid jobs, through a focus on how workers articulate their experiences and understand and exercise their agency at work. JEL codes: Q54, J28.
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