Summer work ban on way in Bahrain
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain will begin enforcing this year’s summer outdoor work ban starting next month, alongside restrictions in place for battling the COVID-19 outbreak. Announcing the decision, the Minister of Labour and Social Development, Jameel Humaidan, warned against work ban violations, which would attract “zero-tolerance” actions.
Preparations, the minister said, are all set for the two-month ban, which prohibits outdoor work from midday until 4 pm. Bahrain is currently following ‘tough’ new restrictions enforced to stamp out a recent spike in infections following Ramadan and Eid celebrations. Humaidan said the ban aims at protecting workers from excessive heat exposure that could lead to life-threatening conditions.
Violators will attract a jail term not exceeding three months or a fine between BD500 to BD1,000 or both. Outdoor work, which involves hot and humid conditions, such as construction, mining, and oil and gas operations, to name a few, are especially likely to cause heat-related illnesses, particularly when involving heavy work tasks, requiring equipment and protective clothing.
The minister said the ban is for safeguarding workers from extreme conditions and reduce occupational incidents. “Temperature and humidity will spike during these months, which calls for extreme caution in line with our human rights principles,” the ministry said.
The ministry said it is holding awareness-raising campaigns for ensuring full adherence of employers and workers to the measures. “Virtual workshops are held to educate the health and safety supervisors of private sector institutions on the need to protect workers from summer-related diseases and occupational accidents.” “The outdoor afternoon work ban is the best means to ensuring a secure and safe work environment for workers, for which the Kingdom is a leader,” said Jameel Humaidan.
Bahrain, the minister said, is keen to ensure the safety of workers at production sites during these months. Humaidan called on private institutions to raise workers’ awareness of summer diseases and the risks the summer heat can cause to their health.
Establishments, the minister said, should find ways to reduce heat and humidity at the work sites. The labour minister also praised companies in the private sector for compliance with the ban over the past years, which the minister said proves their commitment to workers’ safety and health.