Campaigners want immediate Saudi summer work ban
Call for summer midday work ban in Saudi to be brought forward a year
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has called on Saudi employers to implement stoppages for outdoor workers during the hottest part of the day, prior to new rules being implemented next year.
Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, the country's Minister of Labour, last month announced that Saudi Arabia would join other Gulf nations in introducing a midday summer work ban - but it will not be brought in until 2011.
From next year, employers must give their outdoor workers a break between midday and 3pm in the months of July and August.
But in comments published by Arab News on Wednesday, HRC president Bandar Al-Iban said make this rule effective immediately.
“We are asking business owners to make protecting their workers a top priority and realise the dangers of allowing them to work in the heat. We are asking them to create a reasonable work schedule avoiding the hottest hours when the sun is at its peak,” Al-Iban told the paper.
The HRC has asked the Civil Defence to alert employers and work site managers of the dangers to outdoor workers in extreme heat.
Temperatures in Riyadh reached 50 degrees celcius earlier this year. August is, traditionally, the city's hottest month.