Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Biometeorology




School of Arts and Humanities




This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edit version of an article published in the International Journal of Biometeorology. The final authenticated version is Available online at:

Nunfam, V. F., Adusei-Asante, K., Van Etten, E. J., Oosthuizen, J., Adams, S., & Frimpong, K. (2019). The nexus between social impacts and adaptation strategies of workers to occupational heat stress: A conceptual framework. International Journal of Biometeorology. 63(12) 1693–1706.


Adverse effects of occupational heat stress in the context of the changing climate on working populations are subtle but considerably harmful. However, social dimensions and impacts of climate change–related occupational heat concerns on workers’ safety and health, productivity and well-being are often overlooked or relegated as minor issues in social impact analyses of occupational heat exposure due to climate change. This paper offers a conceptual framework based on an appraisal and synthesis of the literature on social impacts of climate change–related occupational heat exposure on workers’ safety and health, productivity and social welfare and the quest to localise and achieve sustainable development goals. A sustained global, national, institutional and individual collaborative involvement and financial support for research, improved adaptation and social protection strategies, predominantly in the developing world, where a large number of people work outdoors, can reduce heat exposure and boost the resilience and adaptive capacity of workers to facilitate efforts to achieve sustainable development goals.