Centre asks States, UTs to ensure prep for easing effects of heat wave on workers

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Amid the temperature soaring across the country, the Government on Tuesday directed the States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure preparedness for effective management and mitigation of adverse impact of heat wave conditions on workers and labourers.

In a letter addressed to Chief Secretaries /Administrators of all States/UTs, Union Labour Secretary Arti Ahuja emphasised upon the need to issue directions to the occupiers / employers / construction companies / industries to undertake necessary steps to mitigate the adverse effects of extreme hot weather, an official statement said.

The letter referred to the seasonal outlook issued by Indian Metrological Department (IMD) for hot weather season during current year which indicates above normal maximum temperatures over most parts of North East India, East and Central India and some part of Northwest India, as per the communique.

It also lists out various strategic steps required to be taken which include re-scheduling of working hours for employees/workers, ensuring adequate drinking water facilities at work places, making provision for emergency ice packs and heat illness prevention material to construction workers, coordinating with Health Department to ensure regular health check-up of the workers, adhering to Health Advisory issued by Ministry of Heath and Family Welfare for employers and workers, it said.

The letter also impresses upon the need to issue instructions to the Managements of Mines asking them to undertake immediate steps to make provision for rest areas, adequate quantity of cool water and electrolyte supplements near the workplace.

Allowing work at slow pace in case the worker feels unwell, allowing rest times and flexible schedules to let workers do the hardest work during the coolest parts of the day with, assigning a two-person crew to perform work during extremely hot temperatures, ensuring proper ventilation in underground mines and making the workers aware of dangers from excessive heat and humidity and remedial measures are some of the other measures suggested.

Apart from factories and mines, the Labour Secretary has also impressed upon the need to pay special attention to construction workers, and brick kiln workers and to carry out adequate information dissemination at the Labour Chowks.

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