Spain: High temperatures will mean employers must adopt preventive measures in order to protect employees
Se establece la obligación de prever medidas adecuadas frente a riesgos relacionados con fenómenos meteorológicos adversos, incluida la prohibición de desarrollar determinadas tareas durante las horas del día con temperaturas extremas.
Royal Decree-Law 4/2023, of May 11, 2023, published in Official Gazette of May 12th, 2023 amends Royal Decree 486/1997, of April 14, 1997, establishing the minimum provisions on health and safety at the workplace, by removing paragraph 5 of Schedule III and adding a Sole Additional Provision which stipulates that when work is performed outdoors and in workplaces that, due to the activity pursued, cannot be enclosed, suitable measures must be taken to protect workers from risks relating to adverse weather conditions, including extreme temperatures.
These measures will be derived from the occupational risk assessment, which will take into account, in addition to the adverse weather conditions, the characteristics of the task being performed and the personal characteristics or known biological condition of the worker.
The royal decree-law expressly states that the preventive measures will include a ban on performing certain tasks during the hours of the day in which adverse weather conditions are present, in cases where the due protection of the workers cannot be guaranteed in any other way.
Lastly, it establishes that it will be mandatory to adapt working conditions, including by reducing or modifying the scheduled hours of the working day, when the Spanish National Weather Service (or the corresponding regional agency, where applicable) issues an orange or red weather warning and the existing prevention measures do not guarantee the protection of the workers.