Changes to summer work ban rules sought
Manama, June 16, 2010
A top emergency doctor has called for a 'pro-active' approach regarding the summer work ban for workers in Bahrain, saying it should be implemented in co-ordination with meteorology officials.
Cases of people suffering from heat exhaustion have been regularly coming to the hospital in the last few days, said Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) Accident and Emergency department senior resident Dr Nasser Mohammed.
'We have had cases, but all of them have been minor to moderate,' he told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN).
'It is getting hotter by the day so companies should take care not to let their workers out in the hot sun.'
Dr Mohammed said there should be no specific rule that the outdoor working ban should be restricted to between July 1 and August 31.
'This year, it is already very hot in June and last year, it was extremely hot in April,' he said.
'The work ban should be according to temperatures and not the time of the year.'
Dr Mohammed said it was important that the Labour and Health ministries as well as the Civil Aviation Affairs Meteorology Directorate work in co-ordination with each other on how and when to enforce the ban.
'It is possible August could be mild this time when June is hot; or it could be possible July and August would both be hot,' he said.
'The weather is not the same every year in Bahrain, so co-ordination with the weather officials is a must.'
Dr Mohammed appealed to company officials to take it upon themselves to stop their workers from outside work when it was very hot.
'Even if they are in the sun, they should take precautions and take workers to the hospital at the slightest sign of exhaustion.'
A Labour Ministry spokesman, however, reiterated yesterday that the outdoor work ban would come into force starting July 1, when no work would be allowed between noon and 4 pm.
'There is, as yet, no re-thinking on the measure,' he said.
The spokesman said until the ban officially begins, it would be up to the managements of individual companies to prevent their workers from being out in the sun when it got too hot.-TradeArabia News Service