During summer period, special conditions are created by increasing the temperature and relative humidity that can lead to heat wave conditions. These conditions can cause accidents, dangerous incidents, problems in the production process, as well as damage to workers' health.
Thermal stress can cause serious damage to workers' health, ranging from annoying skin rashes to death from heatstroke.
Appropriate and adequate preventive and protective technical and organizational measures must be taken into account in order to deal with the thermal stress of workers working either indoor or outdoor, due to the synergy of the meteorological characteristics of the external environment and the microclimate parameters of the indoor space.
2. Orders R.Α.Α. 291/2014 and R.Α.Α. 206/2020 "Code of Practice for Thermal Stress of employees"
In order to deal with the thermal stress of the employees, the employers and the self-employed persons must apply the provisions of the Orders (R.A.A. 291/2014 and R.A.A. 206/2020) “Code of Practice for the Thermal Stress of Employees”.
The aim of the Code of Practice is to help employers and the self-employed to implement the provisions of the legislation, in order to avoid or reduce to an acceptable level the risks due to the exposure of workers to heat-exposed workplaces and to create a safe, healthy and productive work environment.
This Code, among other things, describes in detail the measures to be taken to protect workers working either indoor or outdoor from heat stress. Employers are encouraged, especially on days when temperatures are high, to consult the Order, which states that employers and self-employed persons must measure the parameters that contribute to heat load, such as air temperature and relative humidity, and / or monitor weather bulletins and the forecasts of the Meteorological Service. Depending on the results, the work must be adjusted, taking appropriate and adequate measures to avoid or reduce thermal stress.
3. Short Guide
For the purpose of facilitating the understanding and implementation of the above Orders, a Brief Code of Practice Guide for the Thermal Stress of the Employees has been prepared.
4. Monitoring of thermal stress
For the purpose of documenting the monitoring of thermal stress, employers should keep records of the actions / measures taken to reduce the thermal stress of their employees. Table 14 of the R.A.A. Order 206/2020 is a sample of the form to be filled in by the employers, during the days where thermal stress conditions prevail, for the purpose of documenting the observance of these data and compliance with the relevant provisions of the legislation and especially the provisions of the Code of Practice for Thermal Stress of Employees.
The Department of Meteorology, in most of its stations throughout Cyprus, has adapted the provisions of Table 12 "Required working relationship - change of work / rest for different temperature and humidity conditions", of the above Code of Practice in relevant table on the website of the Department of Meteorology in collaboration with the Cyprus Institute for light, medium and heavy work separately.