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When hot weather hits, employee productivity is at risk

When hot weather hits, employee productivity is at risk

Anyone who has had to go to work on a hot summer day knows how exhausting it can be. Brain function slows down, travel is more uncomfortable and, for people who work outdoors, simply being safe becomes a challenge. All of these factors combined add up to a blow to worker productivity that will become more pronounced as climate change drives more intense heat waves.

Quantifying this threat can be difficult. Generally, it includes everything from poor cognitive performance to poor sleep.

Even limited exposure to high temperatures at night and during travel can have a lasting impact on cognitive function.

There are some alarming numbers: During a heat wave last summer, President Joe Biden said extreme heat cost the U.S. $100 billion a year, citing a report from the Atlantic Council that warned those losses could double by 2030. Between 1992 and 2017, heat stress killed more than 800 U.S. workers and injured more than 70,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.