What are the employer’s obligations in hot weather?
High temperature at the workplace has a negative impact on the safety of employees, their psychophysical condition and productivity. Therefore, the employer is obliged to ensure that the effects of heat waves are not too burdensome for employees.
Pursuant to the provisions, the employer is obliged to protect the health and life of employees by ensuring safe and hygienic conditions with appropriate use of the achievements of science and technology. This obligation also includes actions aimed at mitigating the effects of exposure of workers to high temperatures.
The primary duty of an employer hiring people during the summer heat is to provide employees with cold drinks. This obligation occurs when working in an open space, when the ambient temperature exceeds 25 degrees C. This obligation should be fulfilled when the temperature at the workplace exceeds 28 degrees C caused by weather conditions, eg. in an office. Drinks are to be available throughout the entire shift, in an amount sufficient to meet the needs of employees.
In the case of persons carrying out dirty work in the open air at high temperature without access to running water, the employer must provide at least 90 liters of water per day for hygienic purposes.
The employer, depending on his abilities, should improve the working comfort of employees by lowering the temperature at work stations. For this purpose, it can use roller shutters, fans, air conditioners, etc. Employers with a permanent air-conditioning system should take care of its efficiency and removal of mold, cleaning, so that it does not constitute a source of additional threats.
The legislator provided special protection against high temperatures at work for young workers. It is forbidden to employ young people in rooms where the temperature exceeds 30 degrees C and the relative air humidity is greater than 65%.
Source : Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy