Bahrain rejects plea for work ban extension
Manama, June 12, 2013
Bahrain officials have ruled out extending summer work ban despite an appeal by rights activists, a report said.
Temperatures have already hit 40C, leading to calls for the government to bring forward the rule, which prohibits all outdoor work between midday and 4pm in July and August, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The GDN reported last week that more than 50 people, mostly Asian construction workers, were treated at the Salmaniya Medical Complex within the space of 24 hours for dehydration and other conditions.
Twelve construction workers have also been treated for heat stroke at the SMC since April.
It led to calls from the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) and doctors to extend the ban to June.
But Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Dossary said no such plans were in the pipeline.
"We have not even though of it," he told the GDN. "There have been no complaints from anyone and no one has approached the ministry to request making this move."
Al Dossary said officials would be willing to consider extending the ban if there was enough demand.
But he pointed out that there was huge opposition from the private sector when it was first introduced in 2007.
"They slowly fell in line and later even agreed it had helped them increase productivity," he said. "However, they will again have major issues if there is a suggestion to make it three months."
Bahrain banned outdoor work between midday and 4pm during the hottest months of the year to protect workers from potentially fatal conditions such as heat stroke.
The country has been posting record temperatures in recent years, with the hottest June day on record being June 20, 2010 - when the mercury rocketed to 46.9C.
A year earlier, June 2009 went on record as the hottest June since records began in 1902, with an average temperature of 35.2C for the month.
Last year saw the fourth hottest June on record, with an average daily temperature of 34.7C - more than 2C above normal. – TradeArabia News Service