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Research and public health prevention policies of occupational heat exposure in Italy
  1. Alessandro Marinaccio1,
  2. Michela Bonafede1,
  3. Marco Morabito2
  4. WORKLIMATE project Working Group
    1. 1 Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene Department, Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), Rome, Italy
    2. 2 Institute of Bioeconomy, National Research Council (CNR), Rome, Italy
    1. Correspondence to Dr Alessandro Marinaccio, Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work, Rome, Italy; a.marinaccio{at}

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    High temperatures are associated with a substantial mortality burden. Globally, 5 083 173 deaths were associated with non-optimal temperatures per year in 2000–2009, accounting for 9.43% (95% CI 7.6% to 11.1%) of all deaths, of which 0.91% (95% CI 0.6% to 1.4%) were heat related.1 Excessive heat while working induces occupational health risks and reduces work capacity and labour productivity: high body temperature or dehydration causes heat exhaustion, heat stroke and in extreme cases, death.2 Preparedness and prevention strategies to reduce heat waves impacts, are strongly required and work-related risk factors consideration is crucial. Rising heat levels driven by climate change are increasing health and economic risks for large shares of the global working population.

    In Italy, the occupational exposure to extreme temperatures is a real concern, especially for agriculture and construction workers. Recently, a nationwide epidemiological study has been finalised, using the daily time series of work-related injuries from the Italian national workers’ compensation authority and daily air temperatures derived from satellite land surface temperature data with a 1×1 km resolution.3 The estimated overall relative risks of occupational injury for extreme heat has been estimated equal to 1.09 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.12) with an attributable number of …

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    • Collaborators WORKLIMATE project working group: Alessandra Binazzi, Andrea Bogi, Michela Bonafede, Raimondo Buccelli, Tiziano Costantini, Alfonso Crisci, Francesca de’Donato, Tiziana Falcone, Simona Del Ferraro, Claudio Gariazzo, Bernardo Gozzini, Valentina Grasso, Daniele Grifoni, Miriam Levi, Alessandro Marinaccio, Alessandro Messeri, Paola Michelozzi, Vincenzo Molinaro, Stefano Monti, Marco Morabito, Antonio Moschetto, Pietro Nataletti, Francesco Pasi, Francesco Picciolo, Emma Pietrafesa, Iole Pinto, Matteo Scortichini.

    • Contributors All authors contributed equally. AM is the guarantor.

    • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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