Science of The Total Environment
School of Science / School of Arts and Humanities
The lack of empirical evidence on the effect of heat exposure on the health and safety, productivity, psychological behaviour and social well-being outcomes of small- and large-scale mining workers in Africa has derailed concrete policy directions and interventions. An explanatory cross-sectional survey involving 320 small- and large-scale mining workers was used to assess this research gap. A path analysis was used to model health and safety, productivity, psychological behaviour and social well-being as a function of heat exposure, mediated and moderated by adaptation strategies and barriers, while controlling for age, gender, level of education, years of working experience and workplace environment. Significant direct adverse effects of heat exposure on mining workers' health and safety, productivity and psychological behaviour outcomes were found. Using a pick-a-point approach, significant difference was found in simple slopes (SS) for heat exposure on adaptation strategies at medium level of barriers and a trend toward significance at the high level of barriers. Except for health and safety outcomes, there were significant conditional indirect effects of heat exposure on the performance outcomes at the medium and high levels of barriers to adaptation strategies. However, there was no evidence of mediated-moderation for heat exposure and health and safety, productivity, psychological behaviour and social well-being outcomes. We have provided empirical evidence to establish heat exposure effect on key performance outcomes of mining workers to initiate and guide the formulation of heat exposure management policies.
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