Spain plans to ban outdoor work during extreme heat

Maintenance workers equipped with climbing gear are cleaning the glass facade of the Hemisferic. The Building is part of spanish architect Santiago Calatrava's Ciudad de les Arts i Ciences/Ciudad de los Artes y Ciencias (City of the Arts and Sciences

Spain says it plans to ban outdoor work during periods of extreme heat.

Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz told reporters Wednesday that the government will modify legislation covering occupational risks to prohibit outdoor work when the state weather agency, AEMET, issues red or orange alerts.

The agency frequently issues such alerts when temperature increases pose a risk for citizens outdoors or for the environment.

Last year was Spain’s hottest since record-keeping started in 1961, and last month was the hottest and driest April on record.

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Much of the country is experiencing drought, and water reserves are below 50%.

Díaz, who is also labor minister, said that the modifications would be announced by Spain’s Cabinet, but gave no further details.

The government will hold a special Cabinet meeting on drought measures on Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear how the measure announced by Díaz would apply to workers such as farmers, farmhands, police, firefighters, gardeners or cleaners.

In places accustomed to high temperatures, such as Spain’s southern Andalusia region, construction workers already work only morning hours during the summer.

A temporary street cleaner died of a heat stroke while working in Madrid last year.

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