WTW launches models to highlight climate risks to employee health

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WTW launches models to highlight climate risks to employee health

Global broker WTW has announced an expansion of its Health & Benefits Scout tool with the addition of two models focused on the social determinants of health and climate risks.

The Scout Social determinants of health (SDoH) model identifies the economic, social and clinical resources that families need based on where they live in the US, WTW said. The Scout Climate model illustrates SDoH vulnerabilities exacerbated by climate change. Together, the two models can assess the impact climate can have on employee health.

The models utilize data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control to determine clinical prevalence (for example, cancer and diabetes) and the accessibility of non-clinical resources like food and transportation.

Scout Climate is powered by Climate Quantified, WTW’s analytical engine that measures climate-related risks. Scout Climate can focus on regions where agricultural and construction employees experience a high number of days with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature at which the body begins to be impacted by heat stress. Workers in California’s Central Valley, for instance, can be faced with these conditions between 75 and 90 days per year – and climate models project that such conditions will increase to more than 100 days per year by 2050. This has the potential to significantly impact worker health and productivity, WTW said.

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Scout is currently US-based, but there are plans to expand it globally, WTW said.

“The impact of heat stress, drought and flood are just some of the challenges facing employees today,” said Drew Hodgson, national healthcare delivery leader at WTW. “The Scout tool can help employees identify the HR and benefits strategies needed to address these issues, for both their physical and mental wellbeing.”

“The launch of these Scout models is another step towards helping clients manage climate risks and move towards a more resilient workforce and business,” said Dr. Nidia Martinez, director of climate risk analytics at WTW’s Climate Resilience Hub. “Combining our deep analytical capabilities on climate with our health and benefits expertise allows us to use a holistic approach in addressing the evolving need of business and social response to climate emergency.”

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