UAE in drive against midday work

Over 80,000 construction workers are targeted by the drive

UAE authorities have launched a drive to warn more than 80,000 outdoor construction workers against exposing themselves to peak hot hours during a three-month midday break that began on June 15.

The ministry of labour said it would send out hundreds of inspectors to stage 87 lectures and workshops at construction sites to ensure both workers and their employers comply with the daily three-hour ban for their protection.

“We expect to cover more than 80,000 workers across the UAE during the three months,” said Qassim Jamil, director of the labour guidance at the ministry.

He said 19 events would be staged in Abu Dhabi, 20 in Dubai, 10 each in Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah and five in Umm Al Quwain and Fujeirah.

“These events are intended to underscore the importance of stopping work during the ban period and to educate workers on protective measures in case they suffer from any heat related problems,” he said.

In a statement last week, the ministry said it would also deploy hundreds of inspectors to ensure all employers abide by the work ban and warned that companies ignoring the rule could eventually be suspended

The ban, extending from 12:30 to 3:00pm on work days, began on Jun 15 and will end on September 15 in line with a cabinet decision endorsed years ago to protect outdoor workers from sun strokes and other heat-related risks.

The ministry of labour said it would also conduct random inspection of outdoor work sites and warned that offenders would be liable to stiff punitive measures.

A company caught violating the ban for the first time will be fined Dh10,000 and downgraded to a lower classification. The ministry will also suspend work permits for that firm for six months.

In case the offence is repeated, the company will be fined Dh15,000, downgraded and have its work permits frozen for nine months.

A firm violating the ban for the third time will be fined Dh20,000, downgraded and have its work permits halted for at least one year.

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