Heat and Covid-19 : the obligations of your employer - The Point

A wave of intense heat and sustainable will disembark in France from Thursday 6 August. Météo-France has placed 45 departments in vigilance orange for heat. Sub

Heat and Covid-19 : the obligations of your employer - The Point

A wave of intense heat and sustainable will disembark in France from Thursday 6 August. Météo-France has placed 45 departments in vigilance orange for heat. Subject to obligations to protect their employees in the event of high temperatures, companies must as a bonus this year ensure the respect of safety instructions in the face of the pandemic Covid-19.

The labour Code provides that any employer must take into consideration "the atmospheres thermal" in the context of its approach to the assessment of the risks to the health and safety of workers. An obligation referred to in the plan heatwave : employers are required to ensure the safety and protect the health of their employees, " in particular taking into account climatic conditions ". But no temperature threshold is set in the law. The Caisse nationale d'assurance maladie des travailleurs salariés calls to evacuate the offices from an interior temperature of 34 degrees.

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Access to clean drinking water

In a note published at the beginning of August, the Directorate general of labour (DGT) recalls the obligation for the employer" to ensure that employees with a regular supply and easy access of drinking water and fresh ". The government recommends that on a poster of information to provide potable water "in the vicinity of workstations" in the form of " bottles of water or individual water points with cups, regularly disinfected ".

With employees particularly exposed to extreme climatic conditions, the sector of building and public works is subject to specific obligations. The business sector must provide " three litres at least of water per day and per worker.

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mandatory Ventilation

The employer must "renew the air so as to avoid the elevations exaggerated temperature in the premises of closed work while avoiding the fans that could facilitate the spread of the virus," says the general Direction of the work.

In the CONSTRUCTION industry, the employer must provide employees with a cool premise, to respect the distance of one meter between each pandemic is forcing. If this room is not available, it should arrange the schedule of the project.

working hours

The company is required to arrange work schedules to limit exposure of the employees to the temperatures the highest of the day, particularly when the work request effort supported physical and/or exposing them to very high temperatures ", according to the DGT.

In case of triggering by Météo-France vigilance red in a department, " if the precautions taken are insufficient to ensure the health and safety of workers ", the employer must suspend the activity. "It can then benefit from the device to the weather in the building or place its employees in the activity part," she says. In the CONSTRUCTION industry, it is recommended that companies provide mechanical aids to handling.

Finally, telecommuting, even if it has thrived for the containment, is not a right, but a possibility for some employees, for example those who have time to transport long in the heat. The employer is not obliged to accept it.

Wearing a mask and a heat wave

The government has invited employees to " comply with the gestures barriers to prevent the wearing of masks in continuous ". A call echoed by the organization of prevention within the CONSTRUCTION and civil engineering (OPPBTP), which recommends the separation physical of one metre between employees to " limit the wearing of the mask to the strict minimum necessary in the event of a heat wave or extreme heat ".

Can you come to work in shorts or bermuda ? There is no general prohibition, except in hazardous environments, in particular in the building sector. For the BTP, the OPPBTP recommends that you wear bright colours, and reminds us that " even in the event of a rise of the mercury, the helmet and the safety shoes must be kept ".

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Right of withdrawal

"The inspection of the work remains mobilised to ensure that these precautionary measures are properly implemented, in particular in the CONSTRUCTION sector, agriculture, catering, bakery, dry cleaners, laundries, transportation, etc.," warns the general Direction of the work. An employee, "noting that no provision has been made" by his or her employer or that the measures implemented appear to be insufficient in view of the climatic conditions " is "have recourse to" the inspection of the work, reminiscent of the plan heatwave.

The labour Code also provides that an employee may exercise his right of withdrawal he thinks to be in a situation of "grave and imminent danger to his life or health" or if he finds a flaw " in the systems of protection ".

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Updated Date: 06 August 2020, 13:33

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