The Metro Manila Development Authority said Monday it will impose the daily “heat stroke break” to protect its traffic enforcers and other personnel who are working outdoors this summer.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim has signed a memorandum reimplementing the 30-minute break policy to on-duty traffic enforcers and street sweepers to protect them from heat exhaustion, heat strokes and heat cramps due to the summer heat.
For traffic enforcers who work in shift 5 am to 1 pm, the prescribed break time is from 10 am to 10:30 am or 10:30 am to 11 am; for those working from 1 pm to 9 pm shift, the break time will be from 2:30 pm to 3 pm or 3 pm to 3:30 pm; and for the 2 pm to 10 pm shift, the break time will be from 3 pm to 3:30 pm or 3:30 pm to 4 pm.
For street sweepers on duty from 6 am to 2 pm, they will take a break from 11 am to 11:30 am or 11:30 am to 12 noon; for the 7 am to 4 pm shift, they will observe the 12 noon to 1 pm regular break time; while those working from 11 am to 7 pm will observe the 2:30 pm to 3 pm or 3 pm to 3:30 pm break time.
Field personnel on duty are allowed to leave their posts in shifts and take a break to allow their bodies to cool down.
“Heat stroke break will be done alternately by those who are assigned in a particular area to maintain the visibility of traffic enforcers and street sweepers and to ensure that field operations are not hampered, Lim said.
Field personnel may also avail themselves of an additional 15-minute break in case the heat index in Metro Manila reaches 40 degrees Celsius and above.
The policy takes effect until May 31, 2019.
An MMDA traffic enforcer died of heat stroke in 2012.
Experts say the symptoms of heat stroke or thermal distress include dizziness, uncommon thirst, breathing difficulty, headaches, fever and even hypertension.
Aside from the 30-minute breaks, traffic constables were also provided with summer uniforms and their standard head gear.
MMDA officials said in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Labor is requiring companies to provide midday break from 12:30 pm to 3 pm to the laborers who work in open areas during summer.
In 2013, six South African traffic enforcers died of dehydration and heat stroke.