Climate change is already having serious impacts on the safety and health of workers in all regions of the world. Workers are among those most exposed to climate change hazards yet frequently have no choice but to continue working, even if conditions are dangerous. Global occupational safety and health (OSH) protections have struggled to keep up with the evolving risks from climate change, resulting in worker mortality and morbidity. Collaborative efforts are needed to develop and implement effective mitigation and adaptation measures to protect workers across the globe.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted more than 40 standards specifically related to OSH, which provide policy solutions for dealing with the effects of climate change on communities, workers and enterprises. Furthermore, the Guidelines for a Just Transition towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All (ILO 2015) can help to promote a safe and healthy working environment by supporting workers and employers throughout the transition to a low-carbon economy. In June 2023, the International Labour Conference urged constituents to implement OSH measures for all workers impacted by climate-related risks and extreme weather events and asked the ILO to consider convening a tripartite meeting on OSH in extreme weather events and changing weather patterns. This report presents critical evidence related to six key impacts of climate change on OSH, which were chosen for their severity and the magnitude of their effects on workers: excessive heat, solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, extreme weather events, workplace air pollution, vector-borne diseases and agrochemicals.