The Ministry of Labour has begun implementing awareness campaigns on the dangers of heat stress during working hours, in preparation for the implementation of ministerial resolution 17 of 2021 on precautions to protect workers from the risk of heat stress in the summer period, from June 1 to September 15.
The decision prohibits work in the morning after 10 am to 3:30 pm, for work performed in open outdoor workplaces and shaded places without proper ventilation, while workers return to work in open outdoor workplaces in the evening after 3:30 pm.
As per the Ministry of Labour, workers may return to work in the evening after 3:30 pm. They have also announced in a tweet that if during the day, the work is carried out exclusively in shaded and ventilated places, it is permissible to work outside, provided that the temperature index of the dynamometer used to assess the level of heat stress at work is less than 32.1 Celsius.
If the work is carried out exclusively in shaded and ventilated places, it is permissible to work outside, provided that the temperature index of the dynamometer used to assess the level of heat stress at work is less than 32.1 Celsius. #molqtr pic.twitter.com/UIOA8RRg4q— وزارة العمل (@MOLQTR) June 2, 2022
The decision obliges companies and institutions with work sites in direct sunlight to set a schedule in an apparent place that is easy for all workers to access, by setting daily working hours, in accordance with the provisions of the said resolution.
In this context, the ministry's inspection teams have carried out the annual awareness campaign since the middle of this month, before the implementation of the ban on open work during the summer, by distributing awareness leaflets to workers in different workplaces throughout the country, as well as holding seminars and awareness meetings for workers and companies.
The ministry called on the owners of companies not to violate the provisions of the decision, and the need to apply it in order to preserve the safety and health of workers during the summer period, while legal action will be taken for companies that violate the decision.
The task force will also conduct field visits to corporate sites to ensure that they comply with the provisions of the resolution in the coming months.
The implementation of these annual measures comes out of the ministry's keenness to ensure the health and safety of workers in the working environment, taking into account the provision of work equipment at the best standards of occupational safety and health.
Mr. Hussein Al Hababi, Director of the Department of Labour Inspection, stressed that the ministry of labor is making awareness efforts annually before the implementation of the decision to ban work in open spaces during the summer period, pointing out that the application of the decision of heat stress is important to ensure the safety of workers, and to create a healthy and safe working environment.
Efforts by the ministry of labour over the past years through awareness campaigns and preventive measures have contributed to reducing the number of people with heat stress-related disorders, he said.
For his part, Mr. Zayed Suhail Al Mazrouei, head of the occupational safety and health department at the Ministry of Labour, said that during the summer, all employers must assess risks in the workplace and conduct the necessary medical examinations for workers to check their health, pointing out the need for all companies to apply the decision of precautions to protect workers from the risks of heat stress.
Al Mazrouei stressed that inspection teams will take all legal measures against companies that violate the provisions of the decision, by closing the work sites, praising companies that comply with the provisions of the law and the resolution, which aims to reduce injuries and ensure an appropriate working environment.
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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