This year, June 24 saw temperature touching 50°C in Fahud, the highest in the season. It was followed by Ibri and Al Sininah at 48.5°C and 48.4°C respectively.
Vijaykumar, a labourer, stated, “The break is indeed very relaxing for us. The 12.30-3.30pm period is the toughest time to work outdoors. I am grateful to the authorities for this break. “We get a chance to eat lunch at our own pace and then take a nap for an hour to two. It relaxes our body and mind. It helps us to prepare for the day ahead.”
Adding to Vijaykumar, his buddy Kareem stated, “I am in Oman for the past few months but never realised that it will be this hot. I am happy with the break. After lunch, I even call my family. These three hours are enough for mental and physical relaxation.”
Most of the workers keep in labour camps or portacabins and have to travel some distance to attain worksite. They really feel that the break is as well quick and must be extended till four.30pm. A building worker stated, “We stay in Ghala and it is impossible to go there and come back again. We have to spend the break under trees or at places where there is some shade. Sometimes we sleep in parks to escape the heat.”
Another worker stated, “Sometimes many of us spend money and return to the camps to rest. It costs us money and time. We need to have shower, cook and find a taxi to get back to work. So we end up with no rest.”
The 3-month midday break is from June to August.
The Ministry of Manpower has stated, “Employees must not work in construction sites and open areas due to the high temperature from 12.30pm to 3.30pm for the months of June, July and August.”
This rule is in accordance with Article 16 of the Regulation of Occupational Health and Safety Measures (Ministerial Decision No 286/2008).
Information Source: Muscat Daily