InsiderBusinessSpain to ban some outdoor working during extreme heat conditions

Spain to ban some outdoor working during extreme heat conditions

Spain will ban some outdoor working during extreme heat conditions, Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said on Wednesday, as the country faces high temperatures more frequently as a result of climate change.

The ban will be in place when the national weather agency AEMET issues an alert warning about a severe or extreme risk of high temperatures.

The measure will affect outdoors working such as street cleaning and agriculture, the Labour Ministry added.

“We have already seen many episodes, certainly very serious ones, in cleaning and waste collection in which workers have died from heat strokes,” Diaz told reporters.

Climate change is already affecting people, so the government has to act, she said.

The move is part of a package the Socialist-led government will approve on Thursday in reaction to a prolonged drought currently hitting parts of Spain.

To adapt to the heat, some regions such as southern Andalusia or Madrid already allow students to go home early in case of heatwaves.

Spain’s water reservoirs are on average below 50% of their capacity, while levels have fallen to approximately 25% in Andalusia and the northeastern region of Catalonia, two of the worst-hit areas.

Spain has registered the driest start to a year since records started, AEMET said on Wednesday, with less than half the average rainfall during the first four months of 2023.

So far this year, Spain has recorded 11 hotter-than-normal days, more than twice the number typically observed during a full year.


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