While the heatwave episode affected the whole of France for many days, at least two deaths potentially related to heat in the workplace have been listed, according to a press release published by Public Health France on Tuesday July 19.
One victim in Occitania and the other in Brittany. In its epidemiological update of July 19, Public Health France reported two deaths potentially caused by heat in the workplace. “Two fatal work accidents possibly linked to exposure to heat have been notified to Public Health France” by the Labor Inspectorate, the health agency said in a statement.
[#Canicule] Epidemiological update as of July 19, 2022
An episode characterized by exceptional temperatures and broken records
To know more pic.twitter.com/lwp8WdesHA
– SantépubliqueFrance (@SantePublicFr) July 20, 2022
The first death was recorded in Occitania at the start of the heat wave episode which hit the whole of France, around July 12. The second person suspected of having succumbed to the heat at his workplace was from Brittany, with a death observed a few days after the first in Occitania. However, Public Health France did not give more details on the nature of the death or on the exact identity of the victims.
This announcement came in France while many deaths were recorded in Europe, with in particular more than a thousand deaths recorded in Spain and Portugal due to the heat wave. Many temperature records have even been broken in areas usually unaccustomed to high temperatures, such as Brittany or the United Kingdom.
These high temperatures have revived the debate on working conditions during heat waves, leading the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) to call for the establishment of “maximum working temperatures”.