Work in open outdoor and shaded places not equipped with appropriate ventilation stands prohibited between 10am and 3.30pm, from June 1 to September 15, 2022, the Ministry of Labour (MoL) announced Wednesday.
The MoL has started implementing awareness campaigns on the dangers of heat stress during working hours, in preparation for the enforcement of Ministerial Resolution No. 17 of 2021 regarding the necessary precautions to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress during summer.
Workers can return to work in the open outdoor workplaces after 3.30pm during the period from June 1 to September 15, it was explained.
The decision obligates companies and institutions that have work sites under direct sunlight to set a schedule specifying daily working hours in accordance with the provisions of the decision, and to place the schedule in a conspicuous place that is easy for all workers to view.
Since the middle of this month, MOL’s Labour inspection teams have implemented the annual awareness campaign before the start of the implementation of the ban on work in open places during the summer, by distributing awareness leaflets to workers in various work sites all over the country, in addition to holding seminars and awareness meetings for workers and companies.
MoL called on company owners not to violate the provisions of the decision and the necessity of implementing it in order to preserve the safety and health of workers during the summer period, while legal measures will be taken for companies violating the decision.
The labour inspection teams will conduct field visits to the companies' sites to ensure their compliance with the provisions of the decision in the coming months.
The implementation of these annual procedures stems from the ministry’s keenness to ensure the health and safety of workers in the work environment, taking into account the provision of work equipment with the best standards of occupational safety and health.
Hussein al-Hababi, head of the Labour Inspection Department, confirmed that the MoL annually undertakes awareness-raising efforts prior to the start of implementing the decision to ban work in open places during the summer period, noting that the application of the heat stress decision is important to ensure the safety of workers and create a healthy and safe work environment.
He explained that the efforts made by the MoL over the past years through awareness campaigns and preventive measures contributed to reducing the number of people suffering from heat stress-related disorders.
Zayed Suhail al-Mazroui, head of the Occupational Safety and Health Department, stated that all employers during the summer period must assess the risks at work sites and conduct the necessary medical examinations for workers to ensure their health and be careful, pointing out the need for all companies to comply with the decision on precautions necessary to protect workers from the risk of heat stress.
Al-Mazroui underlined that the inspection teams will take all legal measures against companies violating the provisions of the decision by closing work sites. He lauded the companies that are committed to the law and the decision, which aims to reduce injuries and secure an appropriate work environment.