Working outdoors in extreme heat and weather warnings to be prohibited
The Council of Ministers will approve a ban this afternoon (Thursday) on working outdoors in extreme heat, and will force companies to reduce or modify the hours of their working day in areas where an orange or red alert has been declared due to heat, as announced by the Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz.
Diaz said that until now, labour legislation in these cases has been too generic, but with this new rule companies will be required to adopt specific measures in the event of adverse weather conditions, especially extreme heat.
Specifically, the current regulation is limited to stating that "in outdoor workplaces and in workplaces that, due to their activity, cannot be closed, measures must be taken so that workers can protect themselves as far as possible from these weather conditions”.
The new rule will be more extensive and specific, and will impose the obligation on companies to adopt specific measures in the face of adverse weather phenomena, and implement preventive measures including the prohibition of carrying out certain tasks during the hours of the day even if they are required.
To determine the measures to be taken by companies when extreme weather phenomena occur, not only will the weather conditions be taken into account, but also the task and the person who is performing it.
"A 20-year-old in good shape sweeping the sidewalks in 34 degrees is not the same as a 50-year-old with pathologies such as cardiovascular risk, even when AEMET has not issued any alerts”, the Ministry of Labour explained.
This new measure aims to prevent tragedies such as the one that occurred in Madrid in July 2020, where a street sweeper died of heat stroke while working in the middle of the day at the height of summer in the capital.