Regular checks will be carried out to ensure companies follow the law
The UAE’s ban on most construction work during the hottest part of the day over summer will start on June 15, according to government statements.
The Standing Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai said the mandatory midday break will run until September 15, 2017, meaning that construction firms cannot have workers operating in exposed places or under direct sunlight during the afternoons.
In a statement on WAM, a senior government official said that afternoon break will run from 12:30PM through to 3PM daily. He added that there would be regular checks carried out to ensure that companies were following the law.
“The committee will conduct seven patrols. There will be three inspectors in each patrol, representing the labour committee, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Dubai Municipality to ensure full enforcement of the midday ban as per regulations in this respect,” said Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, deputy director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, and chairman of the Standing Committee for Labour Affairs in the Emirate.
He added that the decision would ensure the protection of the workers, while also providing a safe working environment, as well as occupational safety for them during their work.
In the event of a violation of the afternoon work ban, Surour said that inspectors would take the necessary actions. A fine for non-compliance would be $1,360 per worker, with a maximum fine of $13,612 in case multiple workers are found performing their work, contrary to the ban.
He added that the committee during the inspection will direct and educate employers and workers about the decision of midday break in order to protect the rights of this category of workforce, and to avoid any violation that may occur.
In a separate statement, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) said some workers would be excluded from the midday break rule.
Saif Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of Human Resources Affairs at the Ministry, said that the excluded works includes mix asphalt poured concretes that can not be carried out or completed during the afternoon, works to prevent expected danger, reparation, damage, malfunction or loss, and also emergency work, including cutting lines, water supply, sewerage, electricity and cutting off traffic or blocking public roads, in addition to broken gas pipelines or petroleum flow hindrances.
For exception cases which require work carried out during the break periods for technical reasons, employers must supply workers with salts and lemon, which has been approved for use by health authorities in the country. Employers must provide all facilities that cater to the health of workers, including first aid, air-conditioners, sunshades and cold water.
The ministry also enquires employers to post a clear schedule to inform workers of the daily working hours during the midday break period, plus provide them with shelter during the resting periods.
Employers are urged to provide all necessary health kits to cure workers exposed to hazards and dangerous tools regularly, in addition to being required to follow safety instructions and distribute awareness leaflets to both employers and labourers to promote such awareness.