Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Most companies sticking to midday break rule

Most companies sticking to midday break rule
By Wafa Issa, Fuad Ali and Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporters GULF NEWS Published: July 02, 2008, 00:08

Dubai/ Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah: Ministry of Labour inspectors across the country went out two hours prior to the start of the midday break to spread awareness about the implementation of the rule while the majority of companies showed commitment on the first day of its enforcement.

Maher Al Oabed, head of the Inspection Unit at the ministry, said that the ministry's main focus this year was to educate companies and workers on the rule.

"We are hoping by going out earlier in the day the number of violations will be reduced this year," said Al Oabed.

First implemented in 2005, the midday break rule orders that all outdoor work to be stopped from 12.30pm to 3pm during July and August.



The majority of companies that did not take workers to their accommodation provided on-site shaded rest areas and some even provided fans.

"To have a fan in the rest place is very good because you really get refreshed after the break," said an Indian worker.

However, some workers were spotted resting in an aluminum box in Dubai and labourers in Fujairah were spotted under the shade of a Portakabin at one of the sites as they sought refuge from the searing midday heat.

In Ras Al Khaimah Inspectors from the Labour Department yesterday registered 11 violations against companies for breaking the midday break rule.

Saeed Al Nuaimi, who heads the department, said that the labourers were found working during the banned hours of noon to 3pm and the inspectors registered the violations against the workers' sponsoring companies.

Health Drive
Sun safety

As many as 250,000 labourers, working with 150 companies across the UAE, will benefit from an awareness campaign aimed at educating labourers about taking care of their health while working under the hot summer sun.

The Ministry of Labour (MoL) in association with the New Medical Centre (NMC) Group, is organising the campaign. Launched yesterday, the campaign complements the midday break rule. It focuses on educating labourers on simple and practical measures to avoid dehydration and illness.

A team of experts, including doctors from the NMC Hospital will visit labour accommodation. "Our agenda is to guide and educate the labourers for the sake of their health and well-being," said Humaid Bin Deemas, undersecretary at the ministry.

The Ministry of Health has been asked to inform the MoL about any cases of heat-related illness or death, said Deemas.

- By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter

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