White Paper

Wacky Weather: How Climate Change Is Impacting Workers’ Comp

Weather-related disasters are on the rise. How do weather and climate change affect workers and workers’ comp?

White Paper Summary

On July 19, 2023, a powerful tornado ripped through Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Among the damage was an important Pfizer pharmaceutical plant that produces 25% of all sterile injectable medications used in U.S. hospitals, according to a CBS News report. Though no one was injured, the damage could cause long-term medicine shortages for hospital systems.

This incident is just one example of the way weather can affect the healthcare industry. But aside from impacting the supply chain, weather and climate change also impact our well-being. Hurricanes can leach toxic chemicals into floodwaters, wildfires can cause respiratory disorders, and extreme heat can lead to a variety of illnesses. On top of all that, lack of internet or electricity can make reaching injured workers challenging and may delay courses of treatment.

The World Health Organization describes climate change as “the biggest health threat facing humanity” – and weather-related disasters are on the rise. Last year, 18 distinct billion-dollar weather events hit communities around the world, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Compare that to an average of 13.1 events per year in the 2010s and just 6.7 in the 2000s.

For more content like this from Healthesystems visit their RxInformer clinical journal website.

Healthesystems is a leading provider of Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) & Ancillary Benefits Management programs for the workers' compensation industry.

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