Nov. 29, 2018

The Lancet Countdown 2018 report – prepared jointly with the Public Health Foundation of India – has observed a surge in exposure to heatwave events in India over the 2012-2016 period.

Key Findings of the report:

  • From 2014-2017, the average length of heatwaves in India ranged from 3-4 days compared to the global average of 0.8-1.8 days.

  • Indians were exposed to almost 60 million heatwave exposure events in 2016, a jump of about 40 million from 2012.

  • India is amongst the countries who most experience high social and economic costs from climate change.

  • Almost 153 billion hours of labour were lost globally in 2017 due to heat, an increase of 62 billion hours from the year 2000.
    • India lost almost 75,000 million hours of labour in 2017, from about 43,000 million hours in 2000.

    • The agriculture sector was more vulnerable compared to the industrial and service sectors because workers there were more likely to be exposed to heat.


  • Indian policy makers must take steps to mitigate the increased risks to health, and the loss of labour hours due to increased exposure to heatwave events over the 2012-2016 period.

  • Identify “heat hot-spots” through appropriate tracking of meteorological data.

  • Implement local Heat Action Plans with strategic inter-agency co-ordination, and a response which targets the most vulnerable groups.

  • Review existing occupational health standards and labour laws for worker safety in relation to climatic conditions.

Source : The Hindu