The companies in Oman are free to advance the mid-day break policy for their workers, taking into consideration the extreme heat conditions, a official source at the Ministry of Manpower told the Observer.
"In my opinion, the companies have freedom to advance the mid-day break rule for the benefit and health safety of their workers," he said.
As per the rules, the mid-day break rule will come into effect only June 1 till end of August, there have been suggestions about the need to implement the policy with immediate effect.
The images of municipal workers cleaning the Muscat roads in the afternoon prompted this appeal from the ordinary citizens and residents. “It is absolutely necessary to take decisions based on circumstances. We don’t have to wait till June 1 to implement the mid-day break. These conditions are absolutely inhuman to work in outdoor conditions,” Ahmed al Hasani, who works in the HR department of a private sector.
Meanwhile, a voluntary groups have been distributing free bottled water to construction workers.
Temperatures in the country will be at is peak, probably starting from today till Thursday and then gradually calming down due to south-eastern winds. Oman Meteorology said the temperatures will be around 50 degrees in the open and desert areas and around 45 and 49 degrees in most of the governorates.
For Muscat, the temperatures for Tuesday is expected to be around 45 degrees, with predictions of around 50 degrees in the cities of Nizwa, Sur, Rustaq, Ibri and Buraimi.
Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) has urged businesses about the necessity of adhering to the Article 16 on the regulations for occupational safety and health. The chamber in a statement said that as per the article, “The workers shall be not employed in the construction sites or high temperature locations during afternoon hours from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm throughout June, July and August every year. Therefore the employers have been asked to observer the article to organise the work accordingly in the afternoon hours.” According to the company law, in the event of the existence of any danger which threatens the safety and health of the workers, the ministry shall take necessary measures to close down the place of work wholly or partially, or to stop the operation of one or more machinery until the elimination of the causes of such danger.
The employer or his representative is liable to pay a fine of not less than RO 100 and not more than RO 500 and a jail term of one month or shall be subjected to one of these two penalties in case of infringing the provisions of the sixth section of this law and the regulations and resolutions issued to execute it. The companies are required to any incident at work to the concerned authorities within 24 hours.