More firms ignore Bahrain’s summer work ban
Manama, August 13, 2014
More than 260 organisations have violated Bahrain's summer work ban in the last seven weeks, a senior official has revealed.
Inspectors visited 14,532 sites and recorded 266 violations involving 652 workers since the ban came into effect on July 1, said Labour Ministry labour inspections manager and trade union director Ahmed Al Hayki, accordding to a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
In the last two weeks alone, ministry officials conducted 4,861 inspections, with 74 violations registered involving 224 workers.
Bahrain prohibits all outdoor work between midday and 4pm in July and August to protect the workforce from potentially fatal heat-related medical conditions.
'The highest number among these violations across all governorates in the country was recorded in the construction sector,' Al Hayki told the GDN.
Al Hayki said 98 per cent of firms in the country followed the regulations, despite the high number of violators.
'Compliance with the law remained at 98.16 per cent, which is good and this reflects that the summer work ban culture has become a part of the Bahraini work culture,' he added.
'Unlike in the past there have been no fatalities or accidents at worksites due to heat stroke and dehydration.
'Safety of employees is the priority for the ministry and we are thankful to the employers for respecting the law, which is an encouragement for the ministry.'
However, he said the ministry approved special permits for several employers to carry out emergency work during the hours of the ban.
'This was mainly electrical works and road works, which were important and we ensured that the workers were provided with the necessary shade and refreshments during these schedules,' he explained.
He added that no violations have been registered in connection with domestic workers since the start of the ban.
Unlike previous years, the ban is applicable to private houses and domestic workers too, but ministry inspectors do not have the authority to enter homes and rely on people to inform them of any violations.
Penalties for violating the work ban include fines ranging from BD500 ($1,318.7) to BD1,000, which is applicable to employers of domestic workers as well.
The GDN reported last month that nearly 200 companies violated the summer work ban in less than 30 days.
Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Dossary said of the 192 violations registered in July, 70 per cent were recorded in construction sites in the capital. - TradeArabia News Service