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Sitting courts in Andalucía will be suspended if the temperature exceeds 27C
Law

Sitting courts in Andalucía will be suspended if the temperature exceeds 27C

The region's Ministry of Justice has set this threshold in the case of outages or breakdowns in air-conditioning systems when courts are in session

José Luis Piedra

Seville

Friday, 7 June 2024, 11:44

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Courts in Andalucía will be able to suspend their work this summer if the temperature exceeds 27C in their work environment. Such is the protocol on air-conditioning drawn up by the Ministry of Justice, Local Administration and Public Function within the regional Junta government.

This protocol will set out the guidelines for action in the event of extreme temperatures in the judicial headquarters. This includes the cessation of all on-site activity if the cooling systems fail, the indoor temperature reaches 27C and "the incident persists" because the fault cannot be fixed "immediately", or portable devices cannot be installed as a temporary fix.

The aim of this protocol is to avoid situations of heat stress for the staff who provide admin support services for the courts, according to the Minister of Justice José Antonio Nieto, who detailed in committee the procedure to be followed to adopt the necessary organisational measures when the temperature in the judicial premises is not adequate for work activity to continue.

Regional Minister for Justice, José Antonio Nieto.
Regional Minister for Justice, José Antonio Nieto. Joaquín Corchero / Europa Press

In this way, in the event of the "failure" of the ventilation or air-conditioning systems, individual staff, human resources departments, staff representatives or those responsible for health and safety in the workplace can go directly to the Provincial General Secretariat for their area's justice department to report the incident. The incident will then immediately be brought to the attention of those in charge of maintenance services at the place of work so that, within a maximum of 24 hours, they can assess the breakdown and the estimated time to resolve it before taking any decision to suspend court business.

In the event that the repair cannot be carried out "immediately" or portable air-conditioning systems are not available to "guarantee an appropriate temperature" according to the protocol, the incident will be transferred to the occupational risk prevention unit or remain with maintenance so that they can monitor for how long the temperature is exceeding 27C before making the final decision to halt work.

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