Midday work ban starts on Friday across UAE

Authorities urge employers to abide by three-month ban

The UAE will on Friday begin enforcing a decision to ban work at open construction sites during mid day to protect workers against the scorching summer heat and authorities urged employers to comply with the ban.

The ban from 12.30 to 15.00 pm, which is enforced for the eighth consecutive year, will affect all open construction sites through the UAE and will continue until September 15, according to the Abu Dhabi Municipality.

In a statement on Thursday, it urged contractors and other employers at such sites to abide by the new rules and provide their workers with protection facilities, including cold water, rest places as well as cooling and first aid services.

The Municipality said it had already distributed brochures and organized workshops on the new rule for many sites with the help of the Ministry of Labour, adding that joint teams would make regular inspection visits to those sites throughout the ban period.

The Ministry of Labour also stipulates that all open work sites must put up boards in Arabic and other languages about the banned hours.

The Ministry warned that violators of the rule would again be severely punished, including payment of large fines and suspension of new work visas.

Most of the nearly 400,000 construction workers in the UAE are Asians, mainly from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The UAE began enforcing the mid-day summer work ban in 2005 following a spate of site accidents and illnesses caused by high temperatures, which could reach 50 Celsius.

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