The summer season is here once again, but in places with extreme climates such as those in the Middle East, Kuwait included, regular work can be hazardous in itself when done in these extreme temperatures.
While it’s a standard in other GCC countries such as Oman, Qatar, and the UAE, to place a mid-day work ban in order to prevent health hazards among workers who perform manual labour out in the sun, such as those in the field of construction, mining, as well as ship maintenance, there are some instances where companies and even workers fail to acknowledge the labour law, such as those in Kuwait.
Firms, Workers in Kuwait Ignore Mid-day Work Ban this Summer
In a report shared by the Kuwait Times, construction workers continue to work outside, in the direct sun, all over Kuwait despite a ban on working outside from 11 am – 5 pm put into effect since June 1.
As per the report, there were many instances of labourers found working outside in the middle of the day in some construction sites all around the country since Saturday (June 1).
For instance, in Hawally, work continued at a building under construction near Al-Bahar Complex. A crane on top of the building was operating, while two men were loading and unloading sand. On one side of the building, three workers were engaged in walling work, while two other labourers were carefully fixing concrete slabs on the exterior side of the building.
The situation was no different in Salmiya, where several construction areas were found to be in violation of the mid-day working hour ban. At 12:15 pm, three laborers were seen working in direct sunlight at a construction site in Salmiya. None of the three wore safety helmets or protective gear of any kind. Nearby, men were in the middle of installing a new billboard. Elsewhere in Salmiya, men continued to work outside at 1 pm on the facade of a new building under construction.
The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has issued a directive informing all businesses and establishments to suspend outdoor work (of any kind) from June 1 till the end of Aug 2019, from 11 am till 5 pm.
Average summer temperatures in Kuwait can reach as high as 55 degrees Celsius in the shade and much higher in direct sunlight. While many companies do comply with the ban, there continues to be widespread abuse and violations of this labour rule.
For its part, the Kuwait Society for Human Rights has urged all Kuwaitis and expats to monitor labourers forced to work during the daytime in the open during the summer period. People can submit and report the violation via social media with photos and videos or by contacting 55643333.