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Story Publication logo June 8, 2024

'Burnt to Build': How Do Heatwaves Impact the Health of Workers?



In June 2023, over 90 people were reported to have died from extreme heat conditions in India’s two...

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How Do Heatwaves Impact the Health of Labourers | Burnt To Build. Video by Shagun Kapil and Joel Michael. India, 2024.

Down To Earth’s (DTE) Shagun Kapil and Joel Michael travelled to brick kilns, construction sites, factories, small-scale units and homes in India serving as workplaces for thousands of informal workers in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Gujarat to understand how a rapidly warming planet has made work extremely challenging, testing people’s tolerance limits.

Around 82 per cent of India’s workforce is engaged in the informal sector and nearly 90 per cent is informally employed.

This new series by DTE will report on how heat is affecting labourers and workplaces that lack climate control mechanisms like cooling or air conditioning, and where these systems cannot be implemented due to the nature of the work. The reports will also examine the health impacts heat has on the most vulnerable populations, along with possible prevention measures that industries can explore.

In the first part of the series, DTE reports on outdoor workers who build cities but are directly exposed to the scorching heat.

Down to Earth is a science and environment fortnightly published by the Society for Environmental Communications, New Delhi. We publish news and analysis on issues that deal with sustainable development, which we scan through the eyes of science and the environment.



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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change
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Labor Rights

Labor Rights

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