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Some construction companies, workers ignore 11am-5pm ban

Kuwaitis, expatriates urged to monitor and report violators

KUWAIT: Construction workers continue to work outside, in the direct sun, all over Kuwait despite a ban on working outside from 11 am – 5 pm having come into effect June 1. Kuwait Times visited some construction sites all around the country from Saturday and found many instances of laborers working outside in the middle of the day.

In Hawally, work continued at a building under construction near Al-Bahar Complex. A crane on top of the building was operating, while two men were loading and unloading sand. On one side of the building, three workers were engaged in walling work, while two other laborers were carefully fixing concrete slabs on the exterior part of the building. When Kuwait Times asked a worker why they were still working under the heat of the sun despite the ban, he only smiled and shook his head.

In Salmiya, Kuwait Times visited several construction areas and witnessed violations regarding the mid-day working hour ban. At 12:15 pm, this reporter witnessed three laborers working in direct sunlight at a construction site in Salmiya. None of the three wore safety helmets or protective gear of any kind. Nearby, men were in the middle of installing a new billboard. Elsewhere in Salmiya, men continued to work outside at 1 pm on the facade of a new building under construction.

In another construction site, near the Fourth Ring Road, at 1:35 pm, this reporter saw the full blown construction work of some men doing the usual welding and steel bending while the rest are doing construction work of various stages of the building. Meanwhile, at past 3 pm in Farwaniya area, workers continued at an almost completed building despite the heat of the day.

The Public Authority for Manpower in Kuwait issued a directive informing all businesses and establishments to suspend outdoor work (of any kind) from June 1 till the end of Aug 2019 from 11 am till 5 pm. Average summer temperatures in Kuwait can record as high as 55C in the shade and much higher in direct sunlight. While many companies do comply with the ban, there continues to be widespread abuse and violations.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Society for Human Rights has urged all Kuwaitis and expatriates to monitor laborers forced to work during the daytime in the open in the summer period. People can check and report the violation via social media with photos and videos on 55643333.

By Ben Garcia

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