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April 16, 2024

Ministry of Labor Urges Employers to Ensure Safety of Workers During Midday Hours

[City, Date] – The Ministry of Labor has issued a warning to all establishments, urging them not to endanger their workers during midday hours. The ministry emphasized the importance of suspending work from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM during the months of June, July, and August, as outlined in Ministerial Decision No. 286. This measure aims to protect workers from the high temperatures, which pose significant risks to those working in construction sites and open areas, and contradicts the guidelines recommended by humanitarian organizations for protecting these workers.

Mr. Zakaria bin Khamees Al Saadi, Head of the Occupational Health and Safety Department at the Ministry of Labor, stated that the ministry mandates construction sites and open areas to halt work during the midday hours to safeguard workers. There are several alternatives available, such as providing air-conditioned rest areas and rescheduling strenuous tasks to cooler times of the day. Additionally, implementing a rotation system, where workers work for 45 minutes and rest for 15 minutes, can also be utilized. As for fuel stations, the ministry is working on raising awareness within the community through informative campaigns, advising against refueling during the midday hours unless necessary.

Al Saadi added that in the event of any violations by establishments continuing work during midday hours, the ministry will take legal actions in accordance with Article 118 of the Labor Law. A dedicated team will monitor the establishment after the violation to ensure compliance, or the case may be referred to the judicial authorities in case of repeated offenses. The penalties for such violations can include fines up to 500 Omani Rials and imprisonment for a maximum of one month, or one of these two penalties. Violations can be reported through direct contact or via the ministry’s website, and the specialized team will verify the report and take appropriate actions.

On another note, the recent Second Forum on Heat Stress 2023, held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nasr bin Amer Al-Hosni, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labor, in collaboration with the Oman Energy Association, highlighted the risks associated with heat stress. Heat stress refers to a condition that individuals may experience when exposed to high temperatures during their work, especially if the work is physically demanding and prolonged.

The forum emphasized the need to enhance awareness among all stakeholders and the importance of taking necessary measures to avoid the effects of high temperatures in workplaces and the risks faced by workers during the summer months. It also highlighted the significance of raising awareness among the general public.

About the Ministry of Labor: The Ministry of Labor is committed to promoting safe and fair working conditions and protecting the rights of workers in [country]. Through its regulations, guidelines, and enforcement measures, the ministry strives to ensure a harmonious work environment that prioritizes the well-being and safety of all workers.

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