Climate Change Impacts on Occupational Health of Farmers and Forestry Workers in Indonesia
This research is carried out by Efi Yuliati Yovi1, Anindrya Nastiti2, Budi Kuncahyo1 with funding support from the Global Disaster Preparedness Center.
Climate change is a global issue that requires adequate preparation to avoid negative effects on human life. Indonesia is one of the agricultural countries threatened by climate change, and the agricultural sector in this tropical country is one of the primary areas requiring attention. The purpose of this study is to investigate the existing relationships among heat-related knowledge, risk perceptions of the negative effects of heat exposure, and precautionary behaviours among Indonesian agricultural workers to develop prevention strategies to address climate change-related threats. This study also aims to determine effective risk communication strategies for agricultural workers. This confirmatory cross-sectional study included 425 participants who worked as rice farmers (215 participants) and forestry workers (210 participants). In this study, correlation, mediation, and moderation relationships among knowledge, risk perceptions, and precautionary behaviours were investigated using a Structural Equation Model (SEM) with the partial least squares (PLS) technique. To obtain a complete picture, supplementary data, i.e., demographic information, awareness of climate change, workplace heat effects on income, heat effect prevention measures, and training experience were also investigated. This study indicates that a thorough knowledge of heat exposure will likely result in more cautious behavior.
This study also confirmed that knowledge correlates with risk perception, which has a positive effect on precautionary behavior. The study also found that among workers with a high-risk tolerance (such as the forestry workers in this study), “fear” (a risk perception modulator) may have a positive effect on how well one perceives and responds to hazards. In terms of risk communication, it can be concluded that heat-related information must be communicated through more conventional channels, such as face-to-face communication and demonstrations, which are packaged and delivered in an informal format. The workers prefer to receive information and guidance from government agencies or those affiliated with the government, a trusted authority and role model.
1 IPB University, Indonesia
2Institut Teknologi Bandun, Indonesia