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Posted On: 14 June 2010 06:23 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Firms urged to strictly observe summer timings

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The Ministry of Labour has asked all companies here to strictly abide by the summer timing for open air work that comes in to force tomorrow. The new timing will be in effect until August 31. Companies are not permitted to put workers on outdoor duty for more than five hours continuously in the morning shift. It is also mandatory for the employers to give a noon break to such workers from 11.30am to 3pm. The Ministry has asked companies to closely observe the daily weather conditions to avoid exposing workers to high temperature. Workers should not be forced to work for long hours if the temperature is very high. It is also obligatory for companies to prominently display their new timing at the work sites for the benefit of the workers. This will also help the Ministry inspectors while conducting surprise raids at the work sites to see whether the companies are abiding by the regulations. Worksites that fail to comply with the summer timing will be closed for a period not exceeding one month, warned the Ministry. Enquiries with some construction companies yesterday revealed that they were awaiting the Ministry announcement regarding the summer timing to decide their new work schedule. “Currently we have around 200 workers on outdoor jobs and all of them are working on straight shifts. We would now start work early to finish by 11.30am, instead of putting workers on two shifts,” said an official from a construction company. He said many companies who go for afternoon shifts do not provide rest areas for workers during the noon break. To do this, they will have to either transport their workers back to their accommodations and again to the work sites or provide temporary shelters at the work sites. The work sites could be scattered in various parts of the country, some of them very far away from the workers’ accommodations. So both the options would mean additional spending and man power, which many small companies would find unaffordable, he noted. In the absence of proper rest areas, many workers have been forced to seek shelter elsewhere near the work sites and could even fail to find a shaded area.