Correlates of Occupational Heat-Induced Illness Costs: Case Study of South Australia 2000 to 2014

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the profile of occupational heat-induced illness costs in South Australia and to examine the association with high temperature.

Methods:

Workers’ compensation claim data were used to quantify the associations between maximum temperature (Tmax) and occupational heat illness (OHI)-related costs, using time-series analysis after controlling for confounding factors.

Results:

Four hundred thirty-eight OHI claims in 2000 to 2014 resulted in total medical costs of AU$6,002,840 and 5,036 work days lost. Relatively higher OHI burdens were found in men, those aged 25 to 44 years, new workers, medium-size businesses, and those employed in the mining industry. A 1 °C increase in Tmax above about 33 °C was associated with a 41.6% increase in medical costs and a 74.8% increase in days lost due to OHI, respectively.

Conclusions:

The cost profile of OHI may be used to justify interventions for particular industries, occupations, and worker categories.

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