Midday work ban to begin

LABOUR inspectors will be out in force to ensure companies abide by a nationwide ban on outdoor work during the hottest hours of the summer.

People will not be allowed to work outdoors between noon and 4pm from Saturday until the end of August, the Labour Ministry announced yesterday.

“The decision has been made to ensure the safety of labourers working in high temperatures and humidity during the scorching summer months, and to protect them from the dangers of heat exhaustion and sunstroke, as well as to reduce the likelihood of worksite accidents,” the ministry said.

The ban has been in force since 2013 following an edict issued by Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan and has seen a 98 per cent compliance rate over the last few years.

The ministry has already launched an awareness campaign to educate employers and workers on the importance of adhering to the decision, with officials distributing leaflets and pamphlets demonstrating the dangers of prolonged exposure to heat in multiple languages.

Workshops on occupational safety and prevention of summer illnesses have also been held extensively across the private sector.

“Bahrain’s commitment to implement this work ban annually reflects the importance of the principles of human rights in the country, especially that of workers,” Mr Humaidan said in a statement.

“We strive to provide a safe and healthy work environment in accordance with international labour standards.

“The implementation of the ban has significantly reduced the risk of work-related injuries over the summer period over the past few years,” he added.

The minister urged all private establishments to educate workers on prevention of summer illnesses, provide comprehensive first aid training and find solutions to reduce workers’ exposure to high temperature and humidity.

He also asserted that the ministry was keen to ensure the ban does not affect the completion of ongoing projects.

“The decision will boost productivity as working hours are simply rescheduled to ensure workers are not endangered by the heat,” he said.

The ministry has warned against employers choosing to ignore the ban.

“Whoever violates the provisions of this decision shall be punished with penalties stipulated in Article (192) of the Private Sector Labour Law, which states that violators would face imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, and a fine of not less BD500 and not more than BD1,000,” the ministry said in a statement.

The GDN reported that Bahrain witnessed a 99.87pc compliance with the work ban last year, with 27 violations registered. A total of 19,841 inspections were also held over the summer last year.

The ministry vowed to ramp up efforts this year as well to ensure compliance and protect the interest and safety of workers during the duration of the ban.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1255124/Midday-work-ban-to-begin


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