Alert heatwave : what are the obligations of the employer ?

While France is currently experiencing a wave of intense heat, how does the labour law protect the employees ? Although the problem appears ask now recursively, the labor code is quite explicit on the precautions that should be taken by the employer vis-à-vis its employees, in the event of a heat wave.

The article L4121-1 requires the company to adopt measures “necessary” to protect the health of workers. It must inform employees on the precautions to be taken and put in place an organisation of work adapted to it, as well as preventive measures. But few details are made in practice on the measures to take in case of strong heat.

The labour code specifies only that “in the closed premises where the workers are required to stay, the air [is] renewed” so as to avoid the elevations exaggerated temperature (section R4222-1), but does not require air-conditioning. The employer is also obliged to make available to the workers for drinking water (article R4225-2).

Recommendations of common sense

A 2008 decree provides some additional clarification with regard to workers ” exposed to particular climatic conditions “, such as employees in the CONSTRUCTION industry. It provides that ” the workers have either a local to their home in conditions that preserve their health and their safety in the event of the occurrence of climate conditions that may affect, or development construction sites guaranteeing in the same conditions “.

The company must ” provide for regular breaks and, if necessary, be sure to arrange work schedules ”

In the Face of this legal uncertainty, the plan heat wave put in place in 2017 and again in 2018 by the government just to make a few clarifications. The company must ” provide for regular breaks and,…

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