DOLE to employers: Enforce policies to combat heat stress

DOLE to employers: Enforce policies to combat heat stress
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WITH the El Niño phenomenon slowly manifesting in the hot and humid weather conditions, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reminded employers to employ policies that will help reduce the adverse effects of heat in workplaces.

Citing provisions of Labor Advisory 8-2023, the DOLE said it is reminding employers to help reduce heat stress in workplaces by employing "cool" policies.

"The labor department reminds employers to observe health and safety measures to prevent and control heat stress to minimize its impact at the workplace," said DOLE.

It said one way of reducing extreme heat exposure of employees is through the provision of adequate ventilation and heat insulation in workplaces.

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

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

It also recommended the conduct of advocacy campaigns on identifying and addressing symptoms of heat stress at the workplace, and establishing procedures and information networks to address heat-related emergencies.

The 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.

For those that will need assistance to adopt such measures, DOLE said companies may coordinate with the DOLE regional offices and Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) regional extension units.

"(This is) for technical assistance in reviewing and developing safety and health measures related to heat stress prevention and control at the workplace," said DOLE.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced Friday, March 22, 2024, the start of the dry season.

Pagasa said the El Niño phenomenon is also expected to make the weather warmer than usual. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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