Construction Workers in a Climate Precarious World

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This paper examines climatic heat stress as a question of workplace health and safety in relation to at-risk and precarious labour. First, we argue that precarity is usefully understood as a phenomenon that is both generalised (all work is precarious given the function of labour under capitalism) and differentiated (experienced differently across geography, labour process and employment status). We frame climate change and labour relations as internally related and argue that climate change needs to be incorporated into the notion of precarity. Second, we explore the experience of construction workers in New South Wales, Australia, and consider the industry as a potential site of organising over both labour conditions and global warming. We conclude that climate change exacerbates precariousness, disrupting all work and intensifying and extending individual risk in various ways. Further, these experiences present a potential site to simultaneously act on both global warming and labour conditions.




Newman, F., & Humphrys, E. (2020). Construction Workers in a Climate Precarious World. Critical Sociology, 46(4–5), 557–572.

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