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UAE: New decree aims to enhance safety of workers at construction sites

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Establishments need to provide accommodation to workers earning less than Dh1,500 per month.

Establishments with 50 or more workers, where the wage of each worker is less than Dh1,500 per month, need to provide laborer accommodation as part of a new ministerial decree issued on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued the decree to enhance worker safety in construction sites and provide accommodation. Under the decree, construction and industrial workers are not permitted to work outdoors or in places under the sun from 12:30pm to 3:00pm from June 15 to September 15.

Industrial establishments and companies with 100 or more employees need to hire a health and safety officer to ensure laborers are protected from various risks in the workplace. The officer will be tasked to ensure safety procedures are being met in construction sites.

In a statement, the ministry said the decree aims to detail the responsibilities of both employees and employers in efforts to ensure work stability and increase productivity in the workplace.

Workers should be provided with safety gear and suitable clothing to protect them from any injuries on site. First aid kits and fire extinguishers shall be placed in construction premises, along with a specialist on site to deliver first aid when needed.

The decree provides that employers must take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of employees against injuries, diseases or any hazards in the workplace such as sharp objects, explosive or inflammable materials, electric circuits and compressed gases.

Before working on site, employees need to be briefed of any potential dangers that the job requires. Safety and prevention guidelines and recovery tips must be clearly detailed on signboards in Arabic and other languages that workers understand and posted in visible sites around the premises.

Workers are obliged by law to use protective gear and follow instructions at all times after being properly briefed by the employer.

The new labor law grants employers the right to impose penalties for each worker who violates safety measures at work. The ministry is also coordinating with the relevant authorities to ensure that insurance is being provided for workers. Inspection checks will be conducted on a regular basis in construction sites across the country to ensure health and safety measures are being met. Penalties and fines shall be applied on violating companies.

By: Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022

Source: www.khaleejtimes.com