Mid-day break rule to begin in Oman soon

Energy Sunday 21/May/2017 21:08 PM
By: Times News Service
Mid-day break rule to begin in Oman soon

Muscat: Mandatory mid-day breaks that ban any work under direct sunlight between 12.30pm and 3.30pm will start from June 1 and continue until August 31, the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) said on Sunday.
With nine days to go, MoM has urged all companies to follow the mid-day break rule.
The mid-day break is announced every year in accordance with Article 16 of the Oman Labour Law for occupational safety and health regulations, which states that workers must not work at construction sites or in open and elevated areas from 12:30pm to 3:30pm during the months of June, July and August.
“This ministerial decision was put in place to protect workers from the scorching heat during the summer,” an official at MoM said.
He added that a special team has been formed to catch anyone found violating the orders.
“They will be issued a fine,” he said, adding that violations can be reported at 80077000.
According to Article 118 of the Oman Labour Law, violators can be penalised with hefty fines and their penalty is doubled for repeat violations.
Doctors have warned that people working during noon may suffer from heat stroke and acute dehydration. “My advice to workers is to drink plenty of water and to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun,” Dr P Maheshwari, specialist of internal medicine at the Atlas Hospital, Ruwi, said.
In advice given to the companies, doctors said the worksite supervisors at the companies must take care of its workers.
“They must ensure that workers don’t get exposed to too much sunlight and do not feel overburdened with work,” a doctor said.
A number of companies also prefer to shift work to the evening hours due to mid-day breaks.
With temperatures hovering around 45 degree in some parts of Oman, embassies and workers have urged that mid-day breaks for workers in open areas should be linked to temperature.
“It should be linked with temperature,” said a senior official at an embassy.
Mohammad Al Farji, a board member from General Federation of Oman, said they had requested the government to increase the mid-day break from three months period to four months. “But unfortunately that was turned down by the ministry officials,” he told the Times of Oman.