By Stavros Nikolaou
With the heat wave continuing to grip Cyprus, the labour ministry on Wednesday informed employers and the self-employed to suspend all work under direct sunlight exposure during the hours when orange or red warnings are in effect.
There is an orange warning in effect on Wednesday.
Citing high temperatures in combination with humidity levels, the labour ministry said “these conditions can endanger workers who are exposed to heat stress.
Employers and the self-employed are urged to measure the parameters that contribute to heat stress and regulate work according to their activities by alternating work and rest periods depending on the type of work performed “.
The labour inspection office also called on people to take “other appropriate and adequate measures in cooperation with the local workers’ safety representatives, to avoid or reduce thermal stress”.
Heat protection measures include the creation or selection of a shaded area or the construction of suitable shelters for the execution of work, where possible and the avoidance, where possible, of work outdoors during the hottest hours of the day – noon to 4pm.
The measures should include the organisation of working time so that heavy work is performed during the coolest hours of the day.
Heavy work would include intensive manual work such as digging, paving, rock breaking or using mechanical equipment outdoors.
Moderate work would include fencing, concreting, bricklaying, plastering, painting, flooring, tiling, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing, or working indoors with machines.
Employees should drink a lot of water and wear light and loose-fitting clothing, avoid large meals, sugary foods, alcohol and coffee, which are dehydrating.
For more information, those interested can be informed from the website of the DLI in the section Thermal Stress and / or contact the Inspectors at the local District Offices of the Department of Labor.