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The bitter cold is causing problems to those workers who work outdoors. Foto: BoBo

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Cold causing problems to poorest, and those working outdoors

Warming expected on Thursday
11. January 2017 ob 12:29
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

During the clear night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the temperatures again dropped to minus 10 degrees Celsius. The cold, which brings the most difficulties to the poor, and those working outdoors, will persist until Thursday.

The bitter cold is causing problems to those workers who work outdoors, but the legislation does not define the temperature which would prevent, or limit, their exposure to cold. Only a rule and a decree on work at a construction site exists, which stipulates that the temperature of the work environment should be suitable for human body. Details, including the mandatory working equipment, are defined in separate collective agreements, and internal rules. But those rules do not apply to precarious workers.

The low limit temperature has not been set
The previously mentioned Rules demand that in the period between November 1 and March 31, the employer must allow the workers performing light physical labour outdoors occasional access to a heated room, which goes for the construction sites as well.
The precarious workers are exposed to risk of severe health problems. Besides the fact that they don't get paid during sick leave, in certain cases they simply can't risk being absent from work, as the employers have no temporary replacement for them. The unionist David Švarc explained: "There was a case a woman delivered newspaper on a snowy night, and on a motorcycle, a day after a surgical procedure for dental granuloma."

Goran Lukič from the Counselling Office for Migrants warns that some people work in cold all year long. He was talking about those working in cold storage rooms, where the temperature drops below minus 20 degrees Celsius. He questions the appropriateness of working conditions in spite of special protective clothing.

U. V., Radio Slovenija; translated by G. K.