Spain to Introduce New Legislation to Protect Workers from Extreme Heat
The Spanish government has announced that it will be making some legislative changes to incorporate measures that companies must comply with in labor legislation. One of them will be adapting work conditions to weather conditions. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz, stated that practices will be introduced to prohibit working in open areas in order to avoid putting the health of employees at risk during periods of extreme heat. This initiative, which has been taken as a result of the drought problem in the country, will be discussed at an extraordinary Council of Ministers Meeting, which is set to take place on Thursday.
Diaz stated that “people should also change their working standards to combat climate change, which directly affects their lives.” Thus, new laws will be adopted to safeguard the health and safety of workers in extreme weather conditions, especially during red and orange alerts.
The drought problem, which has been going on since the middle of 2022, has negatively affected many regions such as Andalusia, Murcia, and Catalonia. The Spanish Meteorological Institute (AEMET) reports that Spain has experienced the hottest and driest April in 60 years. There are warnings that this problem may last for a long time.
The Council of Ministers is expected to announce new measures against drought. These will include support packages for agricultural workers and animal breeders, as well as policies that ensure the correct use of water. Currently, the water reserve in dams and ponds is at the level of 48%, 20 points below the average of the last 10 years.
The Spanish government’s efforts to protect workers from extreme heat reflect the need to address the impact of climate change on the working population. Governments worldwide are increasingly adopting measures to ensure the safety of workers in the face of extreme weather conditions caused by climate change.