Bahrain to implement summer work ban
Manama, June 30, 2012
The Labour Ministry has formed a team of 40 inspectors who will conduct midday patrols at worksites across Bahrain as the two-month summer ban on outdoor work comes into effect from tomorrow.
The ban will be enforced in July and August and means that outdoor work cannot take place between midday and 4pm during these months.
"There will be 40 labour inspectors assigned by the ministry to visit worksites and they have the right to fine employers and bosses, who violate the midday break and make their workers toil during the hottest hours of the day," said ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Dossary.
He said this is the sixth year the summer work ban has been enforced to protect outdoor workers from dehydration, heat stroke and even death.
Al Dossary said they have received excellent response from companies, who have all said the midday break protects workers from heat and further enhances their productivity.
"The success rate in the past two years is about 98 per cent, which is a good sign that shows employers mainly from the private sector are adhering to the regulations."
This year the ban coincides with Ramadan, but Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan said it would not affect worksite inspections.
However, Al Dossary said there will be exceptions to the rule applied strictly only in emergency cases.
"We have to be flexible when it comes to emergency cases. For example, workers employed by the Works Ministry and the Electricity and Water Authority have to carry out timely repair work whether it's related to power, water or urgent road work," said Al Dossary.
He said in the above cases they will be flexible but others who violate the ban will be slapped with fines.
"Labour inspectors will be conducting midday patrols at construction sites and can impose fines ranging from BD50 to BD300 ($133 to $796) for each worker caught working outdoors between midday and 4pm."
In addition, the Labour Ministry has already launched its national awareness campaign targeting workers and employers explaining about the summer ban and the dangers of working in the summer.
The GDN reported on May 23 that Humaidan urged employers to immediately report worksite accidents in order for officials to conduct their investigations.
The minister said in the last three years more than 300 workers lost their lives in worksite accidents in the private sector.-TradeArabia News Service