Firms violating safety norms to be penalised

ABU DHABI — The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will penalise private companies breaching the established occupational safety precautions by suspending all their transactions, Khaleej Times has learnt.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Thu 16 Jun 2005, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:00 PM

The ministry’s move is to ensure that labourers are protected from health hazards, particularly from the scorching summer sun, following several serious occupational accidents reported last year, some of which were fatal.

Khalid Al Minhali, Head of the Safety and Occupational Health Section at the Ministry told Khaleej Times that Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi, had instructed officials to suspend activities of private companies violating safety procedures till they adhere to the norms.

“Private firms found breaching Ministerial Decree No. 32 of 1982 specifying measures to be undertaken by companies, especially contracting companies, to protect workers from occupational perils, would face suspension of activities,” Minhali said.

He said his section would conduct inspection of private companies to make sure they abide by the set safety and health standards which should be available in all these establishments. “With summer starting , employees particularly outdoor workers should be well protected against exhaustion and heat strokes,” he said.

He said the ministry has urged companies, mainly contracting companies who recruit many outdoor workers, to provide them with cold water, shelter against the sun as well as salt tablets at the work places.

“We also recommended early start of working hours, for instance, workers could commence work at 6am instead of 8pm so as to have a respite from the sun when it is at its peak,” he said, adding that companies should also provide a special room at the work place equipped with first aid requirements.

The ministry had also asked the companies to submit a report every three months about work-related accidents, so as to determine the frequent type of accidents in order for their recurrence to be minimised, he said.

Praising the occupational safety measures set by the country, the official, however, said that more technical cadres, financial allocations and better equipment were required to enhance occupational safety and health inspection operations.

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