Photo by Ryan Lim
Dubai – Awareness campaigns have been launched to ensure workers are protected against heat exhaustion and Covid-19.
As UAE workers resumed their regular working hours today, they took the opportunity to thank the government for their annual âlifelineâ.
The 2.5-hour break rule that prohibited outdoor work between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. ended today as the country moves to cooler climates.
Jagdish Rai, a Nepalese worker, said he felt like he was going back to work after a vacation. “I am very grateful to the government of the United Arab Emirates for helping us through these difficult summer months and showing concern by launching various programs and asking our businesses to take good care of us.”
Throughout the lunch break, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (Mohre) organized a number of awareness activities and programs to ensure that workers are protected from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as against Covid-19.
âI really look forward to the midday break every year. Besides giving me a bit of a break from the heat, it also allowed me to rest and talk to my family at home, âsaid Rai.
For Ghanaian Costa, who works as a helper on a construction site, the annual break has been a lifeline.
âIt’s so hot outside during the more intense summer months that at times I felt dizzy, so that two and a half hour break was such a relief. When I returned to work after the break, I felt so much fresher and rejuvenated, âhe said.
âNowhere in the world have I heard of such a facility for outdoor workers. I have worked in Africa, where it is just as hot, but I have never seen the love, care and attention given to workers in the United Arab Emirates.
Bangladeshi Salim, who has worked in the UAE as a carpenter for 10 years now, said his job required him to be in the field for an average of eight hours a day. But thanks to the break, he has the opportunity to eat in peace and even sleep for a while.
âIt also gave us time to catch up with our family at home. I think all of these factors only helped us become more productive in the summer, âhe said. Salim said he is now ready to resume his usual routine as the weather has started to cool.