Church group calls for measures to protect workers from extreme heat

April 22, 2024 - 2:07 PM
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Construction workers are pictured at the construction site of an apartment building in Pasay, Metro Manila in the Philippines May 22, 2017. (Reuters/Erik De Castro/File Photo)

A Church-labor organization is pushing for enhanced safety measures to protect workers from extreme heat across the country.

The Churchpeople-Workers Solidarity (CWS) urged employers and the Labor department “to take decisive action” to safeguard workers’ health and safety.

“CWS supports workers’ heat safety demands in the light of the recent high heat index experienced in the country,” said its chairperson, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza.

“Hot temperatures and low compliance with occupational safety and health standards make workers more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses such as heat strokes,” he said.

The organization particularly endorsed the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Development’s (IOSHD) “10 heat safety demands.”

These demands include paid health breaks, company-led information drives on preventing heat-related illnesses, and regular medical check-ups for workers.

Other measures include regular inspection of companies’ compliance with health and safety measures, adjustment of work hours, and provision of shaded rest areas and adequate water supply.

The CWS also called for ensuring proper ventilation of workplaces, the use of temperature-appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and stressed the importance of worker consultations.

“Worker participation ensures practical and relevant heat safety measures that respond to specific needs and challenges,” Alminaza said.