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Heat Waves and Construction Industry

India is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense. This is having a significant impact on the construction industry, which is a major contributor to the country's GDP.

Construction companies must now pay more attention to the well-being of their workers while on the job. More breaks, shade and water will help workers feel better during the day, and hours may move to the evening when it's cooler.

A construction site is linked to a lot of money. On the site, leased equipment, contractual fines, and labour costs are predictable; but, unexpected weather might come as an expensive surprise, making it harder for construction planners to rely on seasonal forecasts.

Health Hazards

The most immediate impact of heat waves is on the health of construction workers. High temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke, which can be fatal. In 2015, for example, a heat wave in India killed over 2,000 construction workers.

Reduced Productivity

Even when workers are not suffering from heat-related illnesses, high temperatures can still reduce their productivity. This is because workers are less able to concentrate and perform physical tasks in hot weather. A study by the World Bank found that heat waves can lead to a loss of up to 162 hours of productivity per year for construction workers.

Increased Costs

Heat waves can also lead to increased costs for the construction industry. This is because companies need to take steps to protect their workers from the heat, such as providing shade, water, and cooling breaks. These measures can add significantly to the cost of construction projects.

Impact on the Economy

The impact of heat waves on the construction industry is having a knock-on effect on the Indian economy as a whole. The construction industry is a major employer in India, and its slowdown is leading to job losses and reduced economic growth.

Mitigation Measures

There are a number of measures that can be taken to mitigate the impact of heat waves on the construction industry. These include:

  • Planning construction projects for cooler months of the year
  • Providing shade, water, and cooling breaks for workers
  • Using materials that are less susceptible to heat damage
  • Investing in new technologies that can help to reduce the impact of heat on construction projects

By taking these measures, the construction industry can help to protect its workers and reduce the impact of heat waves on the Indian economy.


Heat waves are a serious threat to the construction industry in India. The industry is taking steps to mitigate the impact of heat waves, but more needs to be done to protect workers and the economy.


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