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Labour

Overview: Labour

Labour market policy

Basic income support for jobseekers

Skilled workers

Transformation of the world of work

Labour Law

Occupational Safety and Health

Social Affairs

Overview: Social Affairs

Social Insurance

Statutory accident insurance

Old-age security in Germany

Social Assistance

Socialcompensation law

Health Care

Participation and inclusion

Europe and the World

Overview: Europe and the World

Europe

Overview: Europe

Employment and social policy in the EU

Working in another EU country

EU external relations

Migration from third countries

European Funds

Overview: Europeean Funds

European Social Fund (ESF)

European Globalisation Fund (EGF)

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD)

International

Overview: International

International Employment and Social Policy

Labour and Social Policy at the G7/G20 Levels

German G7 Presidency 2022

Corporate Social Responsibility

Twinning in Labour and Social Policy (Administrative partnerships)

Bilateral social security agreements outside the European Union

International Organisations

Services

Overview:  Services

Contact

Publications

Overview: Publications

Shopping cart

Press

Overview: Press

Recent Publications

Press photos

Overview: Press photos

Press photos of the minister

Press photos of the state secretaries

RSS

The Ministry

Overview: The Ministry

BMAS at a Glance

Political Staff

Visitor Centre

International

Healthy, safe work in a changing climate

Structural change in the context of digitalisation, demographic change and decarbonisation is having an enormous impact on the world of work and thus also on occupational safety and health. Occupational safety, especially measures to protect health, were crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe and healthy working conditions are essential to dealing with structural change. Climate change is playing an increasingly important role. With our G7 partners we want to discuss the impact of climate change on occupational safety and health and address new challenges for the field. Our goal is  to agree on what measures are necessary going forward.

 

Occupational safety and health challenges in times of climate change

Global warming is affecting working and production conditions around the world. The number of hot days is expected to increase and their intensity is expected to rise. For workers’ daily lives, this means increased risk of heatstroke, dehydration and exhaustion. The risk to health of working outdoors is further exacerbated by increasing UV exposure and diseases transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes. In the future, there will be even more extreme weather events such as heavy rain and storms, which will also affect working conditions. The risk of occupational accidents related to extreme weather will increase. On top of this, there will be increased danger from chemical substances for example those used in the recycling industry. This tangibly affects the safety and health of workers in many sectors.

We need to tackle these challenges to minimise the impact of global warming on working conditions and the working environment. The G7 have agreed to pool scientific knowledge on these challenges and measures in order to find tailor-made solutions for the future.

Occupational safety and health in a changing world of work

We must act proactively to keep occupational safety and health at its current high level in the face of climate change. Workplaces must be adapted to climatic change. It is important to avoid measures that negatively impact the climate, such as installing air conditioning.

Adapting work times and breaks are an effective way to reduce the effects of heat and UV radiation on workers. Especially when working outdoors, providing protective equipment and enough drinks are important measures.

Occupational safety and health is essential now and will remain so. To guarantee safe and healthy working conditions even in the face of climate change, we must consider sustainability in all measures.

DWD Download image A detailed and complete description of the graphic can be found under this link

Infographic on health and safety at work with the title: “Average UV exposure during outdoor activity.”

This infographic illustrates the average UV exposure to which people are exposed during outdoor activities around the world. To illustrate this, the graph visualises the UV index. The UV index shows the daily peak value of sunburn-causing UV radiation to be expected at ground level. The higher the value, the faster sunburns occur if skin is unprotected. The UV index was defined by the WHO and is uniform worldwide. Especially near the equator, i.e. the subtropical and tropical zones, you can find that the UV index can be from 8 to over 13. That means that the UV exposure for workers in these regions is particularly high. By contrast, in the temperate, subpolar and polar zones the UV index is between 0 and 7.

Improving occupational safety and health around the world

The field of occupational safety and health is one of the foundations of decent work and must also be preserved in times of climate change. As leading industrial nations, the G7 have a special responsibility not only in their own countries, but in the world as a whole. Supply and value chains bring close links to other, often poorer, production countries. In order to meet the responsibility this entails, we are working with our G7 partners to advocate for strong occupational safety and health systems worldwide, especially in developing and emerging countries.

We are already making use of existing structures in this endeavour: As the G7, we want to support the inclusion of occupational safety and health in the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) framework of fundamental principles and rights at work.

We also want to jointly support a pilot project in the scope of the Vision Zero Fund in growing coffee in Viet Nam and in growing tomatoes and chillies in Mexico. The Vision Zero Fund is a global fund for the prevention of serious and fatal occupational accidents in poorer producing countries. It was launched in 2015 on the initiative of Germany in the course of Germany’s last G7 presidency. With this pilot project, we want to extend the work of the fund to climate change-related challenges for occupational safety and health.

International