Working during hot weather may not only be difficult and strenuous, but sometimes also dangerous to health. How can an employer ensure the comfort of employees at such a time, and what responsibilities does the employer bear in this regard?
The severe heat is increasingly bothering employees, not only those who work outside. In Poland, the employer’s obligations to ensure safe and hygienic working conditions, also in high and low temperatures, are regulated by:
Interestingly, the regulations do not specify the maximum air temperature at which an employee can work. However, a lower limit has been defined. The minimum temperature at which work can be performed is:
The situation is different in the case of employing adolescent workers. According to the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 24 August 2004 on the list of works prohibited to adolescent workers and the conditions of their employment in some of these works (Journal of Laws of 2004, No. 200, item 2047) , the adolescent employee may not work in premises in which temperature exceeds 30°C with relative air humidity above 65%.
The current regulations do not specify the maximum temperature at which work can be performed, which does not mean, however, that in hot weather employers do not have obligations to ensure safe and healthy working conditions in high temperatures.
According to the regulations, employers during hot weather should, among others:
An employer’s failure to comply with regulations on ensuring safe and hygienic working conditions is an offence punishable by a fine of between PLN 1000 and PLN 30 000.
Under current legislation, an employer is obliged to organize work in such a way as to make it less onerous. During hot weather, employers have the opportunity to take measures that can directly improve the comfort and efficiency of work in high temperatures, e.g.:
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