Bahrain to ban outdoor work during hottest hours

May 24th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, May 24 (IANS) In order to provide respite to construction workers from the searing Gulf sun and humidity, Bahrain is to reintroduce a ban on outdoor work during the hottest hours of summer this year. People involved in outdoor work, mainly in the construction sector, will not be allowed to work between noon and 4 p.m. in July and August. The country’s labour ministry has already started preparations to implement the restrictions.

The government first brought this step into effect last year.

“The workers and the majority of the companies were happy with the decision,” labour ministry assistant under secretary for labour Jameel Humaidan told the Gulf Daily News.

A large majority of the 275,000 expatriate Indians in that Gulf nation work as contract labour in the booming construction industry.

Humaidan said that companies which violate the order would be fined between 50 Bahraini dinars ($133) and BD300 ($798) for each worker involved.

“A total of 472 establishments, involving 1,641 workers, were taken to court last year,” Humaidan was quoted as saying.

“Our inspectors carried out 3,855 site visits.”

This year, over 35 inspectors would be deployed to ensure that the order was implemented.

Last year, when the process was implemented, many construction companies started operating from 5 a.m. in the morning and finished much of the work by noon.

“These companies said their productivity improved during that period, by having a straight shift for workers who were able to get enough rest after work,” Humaidan said.

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