9 July 2010

Too hot to work - seriously?

An article on the news website The Barcelona Reporter made me chuckle today.

The staff at the Manresa Post Office have elected to stop working whenever the temperature inside their building rises above 26°C, because "it violates the Law on Prevention of Occupational Risks."

Apparently the post office has no ventilation system, and the overheating problem was first raised in 2004.  Airconditioning was promised in a recent refurbishment completed last year, but there has been no improvement to the situation.

Stopping work is the staff's form of protest, in the hopes that something will be done.

What made me chuckle, with a decent amount of irony, was that in the U.A.E., outside workers are expected to work in temperatures exceeding 40°C - every day during Summer.  For them, there are few health and safety laws, and only in recent years was a ruling passed which requires companies to stop work for the 3 hours during the hottest part of the day, so that their employees can rest "in the shade".

Makes me wonder how the Manresa post office workers would fare in those climes!


Jayne said...

It's already hit 46C in Abu Dhabi (spoke to a mate last week) & life was carrying on as per normal - so I'm afraid those workers at Manresa Post Office are total wussies in my book!

The world as we know it is definitely going bonkers hon!

Seabee said...

It's not only in the UAE that labourers have to work in real heat either. As you know, many of our labourers are from India where the temps are often up to the same level as ours - and they don't get a midday break either!

BTW, I saw on the news that the UK is sweltering in a heat wave and there are official health warnings being issued. It got up to 31C apparently. And friends back in Canada after a few years in Dubai are laughing at similar warnings being issued there for what they consider very mild temps.

Pandabonium said...

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum doesn't mind the heat at all. ;^)

nzm said...

Jayne: that's what happens when workers have unions - they can hide behind them!

Seabee: Yes, hot climate workers are hit hard all around. I, too, laugh when "extreme heat temps" are preempted by warnings in other countries but, to be fair, most dwellings aren't set up with air-conditioning, even cars, and the elderly and very young can suffer badly if they don't take care.

PB: Sh. Mo out in the heat? Why let all that aircon go to waste in his cars, his planes, his helicopter or his palaces? ;.) He only spends a lot of time outdoors in the UAE during winter when he rides his endurance horses! But then, he continually faces heat of another kind!