What are the employer’s obligations during the winter period?
In winter, employers have additional obligations related to the need to provide employees with appropriate working conditions. If the working conditions do not meet the health and safety regulations and pose a direct threat to the health or life of the employee, the employee has the right to refrain from performing work. The employer is obliged to ensure in the work premises the temperature appropriate to the type of work, methods of work and physical effort necessary to perform the work. The temperature cannot be lower than 14 ° C, and in rooms where light manual work is performed and in offices the temperature must not be lower than 18 ° C. The employer is obliged to provide employees employed in particularly arduous conditions with adequate meals and drinks free of charge, if it is necessary for preventive reasons. The employer provides employees with drinks in an amount that meets their needs, the type and temperature of which should be appropriate to the conditions of work. Meals and drinks should be issued to employees on the days of work justifying them, during statutory breaks at work, generally after 3-4 hours of work. However, drinks should be available to employees throughout the entire shift. When working in the open, the employer or the employer is obliged to provide employees in the vicinity of their workplaces with rooms enabling them to shelter from rainfall, warm up and change clothes. The temperature in these rooms should be at least 16 ° C. In addition, there should be devices for heating meals in the rooms. If the ambient temperature drops below 10 ° C, the employer is obliged to provide employees working in the open space with protective clothing, regenerative meals and hot drinks. In winter, workers are often hired to remove snow from the roofs. The employer is obliged to provide such employees with safe working conditions. First of all, the employer may refer to such work only employees who have a valid medical certificate stating that there are no contraindications for working at heights. The employer should provide adequate means of protection against falls from a height. In addition, before commencing snow removal from the roof, the employee should undergo a training position along with information about the occupational risk related to the performance of such work.