DOLE sounds alarm on extreme heat in workplaces

DOLE sounds alarm on extreme heat in workplaces
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AMID the dangerous heat indexes being recorded across the country, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) sounded the alarm on Friday, April 26, 2024, over the concerning threat it has on workers.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said they are concerned over the potential health effects that extremely hot workplaces may bring to workers.

"Temperature registered by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration range from 43 to 45 degrees Celsius, and carry grave threat to health, not just among ordinary citizens, but more to workers working under the blazing heat of the sun for hours," Laguesma said.

"Because of this, the Department of Labor and Employment is greatly concerned for our workers," he added.

The labor chief noted how the areas, where the dangerous high heat indexes are being recorded, are in regions, where there is large concentration of the workforce.

"The very hot weather is felt in bigger regions like Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and Metro Manila, where 47 percent of the Filipino workers are located," said Laguesma.

The DOLE head then renewed the agency's call for employers and business owners to adhere to the provisions of Labor Advisory 8-2023, which provides guidelines on how they can ensure the safety and health of their workers in the workplace amid the sweltering heat.

"We, in the Department, are hoping that our employers will immediately implement policies that will protect the health and safety of our workers," said Laguesma.

Under Labor Advisory 8-2023, employers are encouraged to provide adequate ventilation and heat insulation in workplaces.

DOLE said employers may also adjust their rest breaks or work locations, while allowing them to use temperature-appropriate uniforms and personal protective equipment.

It said it will also be helpful to provide workers with free and adequate drinking water.

DOLE also urged employers, with the concurrence of the workers, to adopt flexible work arrangements that would allow work hours adjustments while maintaining the total number of work hours within the day or week until the weather condition has improved. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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