UAE: Firms urged to protect workers this summer, ensure midday break rule

Abu Dhabi - An online workshop was held to highlight the importance of preventing health hazards due to heat stress.

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 1:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 1:28 PM

Construction firms in Abu Dhabi have been advised about the importance of ensuring the health and safety of their outdoor workers as well as adhering to the three-month midday-break rule, which started on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi Municipality authorities conducted an online awareness workshop on Tuesday, in which they reminded officials of construction firms in charge of environment, health and safety at sites about their role in ensuring the workers’ safety requirements.

Labourers must be protected from injuries resulting from exposure to direct sunlight or heat, due to the high temperatures and humidity the UAE is seeing at present.


>> UAE midday break: Fines, overtime rules

>> UAE: Labourers ‘chill’ as annual midday break takes effect

The workshop was also intended to remind employers about the implementation of the annual midday-break rule during summer months.

The rule prevents any work under direct sunlight between 12:30pm and 3pm for three months from June 15 onwards.

The civic authorities are also carrying out an online campaign to create further awareness among companies and workers about the importance of implementing the midday work ban rule and health hazards from heat stress.

The municipality authorities said they were striving to ensure workers’ safety and security to reduce accidents and injuries at construction sites by conducting a series of procedures and periodic inspection campaigns.

Last year, over 180,000 construction workers in Abu Dhabi were made aware about safety and heat-related problems and the importance of implementing the three-month midday-break rule.

The municipality officials also carried out inspection tours at 201 construction sites to ensure that firms complied with the rules.


>> Midday break in UAE: How the law protects wellbeing of workers

The workers were educated about the dangers of working during the hottest hours of the day, ways of preventing heat stroke-related problems due to dehydration, and how to deal with emergencies.

Firms caught violating the rule face a fine of Dh5,000 per worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 if many workers are found to be involved.

The errant company can be downgraded and even temporarily stopped from operating.

Companies are encouraged to provide water and rehydration supplies, shaded resting areas and first-aid kits to workers at construction sites.

KT Photo: Ryan Lim
KT Photo: Ryan Lim

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