The second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, has advanced that legislative changes will be undertaken to prohibit work outdoors when there is a red or orange alert, decreed by Aemet, due to episodes of high temperatures. This has been detailed in statements to the media during a visit to the town of Alcorcón to support the leader of Podemos in Madrid and candidate for mayor of the town, Jesús Santos, and where he has coincided with the applicants for the formation in the Community of Madrid and City Hall of the capital.
Questioned by the extraordinary Council of Ministers that will take place tomorrow to address measures against the drought, the head of Labor has advanced that there will be regulatory changes and adaptation of the decree for the prevention of occupational hazards in the event of heat waves. From her team they have explained that at the moment it is not clear if this change will have the green light tomorrow or in later days.
The vice president has remarked that mandatory measures must be incorporated into labor regulations to adapt them to the meteorology due to high temperatures and climate change. Díaz has pointed out that serious episodes of high temperatures have already been seen that have affected, for example, cleaning workers, and she has advocated prohibiting the performance of these activities in orange or red alert situations due to heat waves.
The legislative changes occur a year after a cleaning employee of the Madrid City Council died due to heat stroke caused by high temperatures. After his death, the unions have called for a security protocol and public awareness campaigns. In 2022, the Carlos III Health Institute, under the Ministry of Health, set 360 deaths attributable to the high temperatures recorded in the first six days of the heat wave that affected Spain and covered the period from 10 to July 15.
Until now, the ordinance regulates the prevention of risks in the face of atmospheric phenomena and certain thermal levels. Article 4.2 of the Workers’ Statute guarantees physical integrity and an adequate occupational risk prevention policy for people who work abroad. Accordingly, the Occupational Risk Prevention Law requires an adequate level of occupational health protection against heat waves. For its part, Royal Decree 486/1997, of April 14, regulates the thermo-hygrometric conditions (temperature, humidity and ventilation) of the work environment, prohibiting environmental conditions from posing a risk: “to the extent possible, the conditions workplaces must not constitute a source of discomfort or annoyance for workers.
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