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As mercury soars, Centre issues guidelines for workers during hot summers

Amid the intense heatwave that many areas across the country are grappling with, the government has issued a health advisory for the workers to keep themselves protected in this scorching heat

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Ministry of Labour and Employment has asked all states and territories to ensure readiness and effective management of the impact of the impending heat wave on workers and labourers in various sectors.

Stressing the importance of issuing directions to occupiers/employers/construction companies/industries to take necessary steps to mitigate the adverse effects of extreme hot weather, the Centre on Tuesday issued a letter addressed to chief secretaries /administrators of all states and union territories.

What does the letter say?

Referring to the seasonal outlook issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for the current year, which indicates above-normal maximum temperatures over most of North East India, East and Central India, and some parts of Northwest India, the letter outlined various strategic steps that must be taken, including:

1) Re-scheduling of working hours for employees/workers.

2) Ensuring adequate drinking water facilities at work places.

3) Making provisions for emergency ice packs and heat illness prevention materials to construction workers.

4) Coordinating with the Health Department to ensure regular health check-ups of workers.

5) Adhering to the health advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for employers and workers.

Also Read: 11 attendees of Maharashtra Bhushan awards die of apparent sunstroke: CM

Steps for mine management

The letter also emphasised the importance of issuing instructions to mine management, requesting that they take immediate steps to:

1) Provide rest areas, adequate amounts of cool water, and electrolyte supplements near the workplace.

2) Allow workers to work at a slower pace if they feel ill.

3) Allow rest periods and flexible schedules to allow workers to do the hardest work during the coolest parts of the day.

4) Assign a two-person crew to perform work in extremely hot temperatures.

5) Ensure proper ventilation in underground mines.

6) Make workers aware of the dangers of excessive heat and humidity.

Aside from factories and mines, the Centre has also highlighted the importance of paying special attention to construction workers and brick kiln workers, as well as providing adequate information dissemination at Labour Chowks.

IMD issues heatwave warnings

Many regions in India have been experiencing scorching heatwave conditions in the past few days, with officials issuing warnings for the coming days. India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert amid high temperatures in three Indian states—West Bengal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

The IMD has advised people to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the potential dangers of heat waves, such as staying hydrated, avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, and wearing loose and light-coloured clothing.

Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions should take extra care, it said.

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First Published: Apr 18 2023 | 2:47 PM IST

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