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Abu Dhabi midday break starts on June 15

Preparations should include adequate rest areas for outdoor workers

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Ahead of the midday break that is due to begin across the country on Friday, a senior labour official on Wednesday urged companies to take all necessary steps to comply with the ruling.

The preparations include the provision of adequate rest areas for outdoor workers between 12.30pm and 3pm, as well as enough cold water, lemons, salts and the means of artificial cooling, the Ministry of Labour official said.

“Teams of MoL officials will, like every year, visit worksites across the country to educate workers about their rights, as well as check that companies adhere to the midday work ban,” he said.

“At this point, we are also considering a new initiative which could require labour inspectors to complete a checklist of how well a worksite complies with the requirements of the midday break rule, which could then be displayed at the site. This way, we can ensure that all sites are being checked, and companies will know what areas they must improve upon to protect their outdoor workers from the summer heat,” the MoL official added.

The midday break rule has been implemented across the UAE since 2004. Like previous years, outdoor work under the direct sun will be banned between 12.30pm and 3pm from June 15 until September 15.

Risks of working

Those who are working outdoors but under a shaded area with artificial means of cooling may however continue to work during the period, the MoL official said. In addition, work that cannot be halted for technical reasons can also continue with the prior approval of the MoL.

According to a statement sent last month, companies found violating the rule within the three-month period will be fined Dh15,000 in each instance.

A workshop to familiarise around 500 consultants and contractors in the capital with the requirements of the midday break was also organised by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City on Wednesday.

At the workshop, municipal officials also discussed the risks of working under direct sunlight, as well as ways to prevent heat stress. They also warned that repeated violations of the midday break rule could result in project works being halted at worksites until the violations were completely rectified.