Working during a heat wave, the “double punishment” of employees

In the pocket of his blouse, working in nylon, Nathalie L. has slipped in an electronic thermometer this week, ” out of curiosity “. In its plant food from the Upper Rhine, this “conductive line” (responsible of a production line) posted Monday, August 6, ” three hours to 48.5 oC “. Never before seen for this 46 year old woman, though accustomed to the heat and that, ordinarily, ” the supports “. But this year, in the midst of the din of the machines, “it is suffocating and we all have the impression that we are going to stay there,” said the employee of this company, which employs eighty people.

Together, with their staff representatives, they have tried to ask the direction of adapt. Change work schedules to avoid the hottest hours, extending breaks, especially for the ” elders of the string that have more than 60 years and take seriously the language “. In vain : “One of the managers even told me “don’t worry, winter is coming soon”, ” said this employee, who prefers to remain anonymous to avoid any repercussions “. The direction said, for his part, “comply with the regulations in all respects,” according to a delegate of the personnel contacted by The World.

See :

Climate hot, cold, or temperate : these cards tell you where to live in France

“Leave a flexibility to businesses ”

Is that in terms of protection to heat, the law remains relatively unclear. Of course, there is the employer an ” obligation of safety of result in the workplace “. That is to say, that he is required to write a risk assessment document, regularly updated, and the heat is one of these risks, ” recalls Thomas Nivelet, a lawyer at the national Institute of research and safety (INRS). It is for this reason in particular that can be noted organizational arrangements outstanding in the event of a heat wave, such as eating time, the establishment of a ventilated area or air-conditioned, the adaptation of the required required, etc

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