UAE to use 'smart inspections' to ensure midday break compliance in 2017
The UAE's MOHRE has supplied smart inspection systems to up to 18 teams in a bid to ensure compliance with this year's midday break rule
The UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MOHRE) has supplied smart inspection systems to up to 18 teams to ensure compliance with this year's midday break rule.
A ministry official said he is "completely confident" that high levels of compliance will be recorded this year, since companies are familiar with "the harsh consequences" of violating the rule.
The midday break, due to commence on 15 June this year, prevents employees from working under direct sunlight between 12:30pm and 3pm.
A smart inspection system is being used by the inspection teams, which began their monitoring activities on 7 June, 2017.
These inspections covered compliance with the midday break's requirement of safety instruction issuance and distribution of awareness leaflets.
Maher Al Obed, assistant under-secretary of inspection affairs at MOHRE, said the ministry is targeting 60,000 inspections across the country.
He added: "Inspectors are scheduled to pay visits two hours prior to the 12:30pm starting point, to secure targeted locations as marked by the smart inspection system.
"The system analyses data following specific criteria [and] prioritises follow-ups accordingly, all to ensure speed and accuracy.
"We [have] dedicated three inspection teams in Abu Dhabi, two in Al Ain, four teams in Dubai, two in Sharjah, two in Ajman, two teams in Ras Al Khaimah, two in Fujairah, and one in Umm Al Quwain."
Obed said firms penalised for non-compliance would be permitted to submit an objection letter to MOHRE, thus ensuring complete transparency.
"I am completely confident that we shall note a high level of compliance, similar to that noted in previous years, [since] employers are aware of the rule and the harsh consequences [of non-compliance]," Obed added.
Aimed at safeguarding outdoor workers – particularly from the construction sector – during the hottest months of the year, the midday break rule will run till 15 September, 2017.
Certain activities have been exempted from the midday break's remit.
This list includes mixing asphalt and poured concrete that can not be carried out or completed during the afternoon; works to prevent expected danger, reparation, damage, malfunction, or loss; and emergency work, such as cutting lines; water supply; sewerage; or electricity.
Violators will be fined $1,361 (AED5,000) for each person found working during break hours.
A fine of up to $13,613 (AED50,000) could be levied if the case involves a large number of labourers.
The violating party also faces the threat of being downgraded and temporarily suspended from operations, WAM reported.