Employers’ obligations in the event of very hot temperatures and heat waves

02 Jul 2019


Eloïse Hullar

Due to the high temperatures and the heatwave, on June 24 2019, the Inspection du Travail et des Mines (Labour and Mines Inspectorate) issued the following recommendations for employers:

For outdoor work:

  • Plan or set up shaded areas that are well ventilated if possible
  • The employer must provide cool drinking water for those working on their premises. This must be in adequate quantities to allow workers to drink enough to compensate for dehydration (3 or 4 litres of water per day, depending on the work). It is a good idea to drink small amounts regularly.
  • Reduce the number of workstations requiring sustained and prolonged physical activity near or in contact with sheet metal, concrete or tarred surfaces, in direct sunlight
  • Provide mechanical assistance for heavy work, such as handling machinery etc.
  • Make sure that the use of personal protective clothing is compatible with high temperatures (e. g. using phytosanitary products, working in forests, treatments, work in forests, pruning, etc.).
  • Make sure that appropriate clothing is worn:
    • For construction sites that do not require special personal protective clothing: headgear protecting the neck, loose, light, airy, light-coloured clothing, sunglasses and sun cream if necessary
    • If you can, encourage the use of air-conditioned vehicles or self-propelled vehicles
    • If possible, adapt personal protective equipment to the heat: safety shoes rather than safety boots.

In the workplace:

  • Monitor the ambient temperature, especially in enclosed spaces
  • Thermally insulate existing buildings or premises (blinds, shutters, wall insulation, sun protection films on glass walls etc.)
  • Work equipment: set up equipment that produces heat in a dedicated, ventilated area, insulate walls or hot pipes, absorb heat or hot steam emissions etc.
  • Provide staff with useful resources to combat the heat (extra fans etc.)
  • Set up air-conditioned areas in the workplace.
  • Provide sufficient quantities of cool (10 or 15°C) drinking water. 

Luxembourg labour law stipulates that companies may, under certain conditions, implement the unemployment benefits scheme due to bad weather. The procedures are available on the State's interactive secure platform, Guichet.lu”.

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