Unions and cleaning companies in the city of Madrid have agreed this Tuesday night on a protocol for action in the event of heat waves and which, among other issues, includes eliminating the afternoon shift in manual sweeping services when temperatures are high. The evening workers will move to the morning.
The agreement comes after the death last Friday of a 60-year-old worker due to heat stroke while cleaning San Diego Avenue in Puente de Vallecas. The protocol establishes three alert scenarios for heat waves. In the case of yellow alert situations, different measures will be applied, such as not using sweepers and shovels that do not have air conditioning; eliminate clearing work; deliver sun protection cream to daytime shifts and mandatory use of the cap in sunny areas; and allow the use of blowers in specific situations of the service (markets, flea markets, etc) “trying not to prolong their use”.
The mixed sweep will also be carried out with electric blowers; the afternoon shift will be moved to the time slot from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., “with the exception of immediate action teams”; and vehicles with air conditioning will be prioritized. In the case of vehicles without air, there will be a 10-minute break in a shaded place, after an hour and a half of work. The snack break will be from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
In the orange scenario, of maximum alert, the measures of the previous level will be applied and vehicles without air conditioning will not be removed. In addition, the manual sweeping services of the afternoon shift will be brought forward to the morning shift of the same day, changing shifts to the corresponding workers“. Regarding clothing, the agreement states that “the quality of the clothing will be negotiated by the parties.”
For his part, Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida has published an image of the signed agreement on his social networks. On Monday, the councilor defended the legality of the uniforms used by the city’s cleaning workers and discharged the Consistory of responsibility for the death of the sweeper to point to the Labor Inspection. The Ministry of Yolanda Díaz has already warned the company that it should protect its employees from the heat wave.