Companies in Abu Dhabi employing outdoor workers have been told to stick to the mandatory midday break rule until the end of the stipulated time as temperatures are still prohibitively high.
During a meeting held recently with over 300 company representatives, the Abu Dhabi Municipality raised awareness about the need for resting workers during the hottest period of the day.
Temperatures during the past few days reached up to 45°C in some parts of the country, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with high humidity.
As part of the law, employers are required to provide a shaded area for outdoor workers to rest, while anyone who exceeds eight-hours work must also be paid overtime.
Firms caught violating the rule will be fined Dh5,000 per worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 if the case involves a large number of workers. The company may also be degraded and temporarily stopped from operating.
Dr Huda Al Salmi, director of environment, health and safety department at the Abu Dhabi Municipality, said: "It is important for companies employing outdoor workers to continue abiding by the mandatory midday break rule until September 15 so as to give them a respite during the hottest period of the day. In addition to providing shelter and other preventive measures during the rest period, the midday break decision obliges employers to clearly display a schedule of the daily working hours, provided that it is written in Arabic and other languages understood by the workers."
She said the recent meeting with representatives from various firms was intended to boost the awareness of those in charge of construction sites. It also highlighted their role in monitoring the compliance with the workers' safety requirements and protecting them from injuries resulting from exposure to direct sunlight or heat stress due to high temperatures and humidity.
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