Riyadh — The MHRSD (Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development) started imposing a ban on work under the sun from midnight.
The ban is effective at 3 p.m. for three months. The ban will cover all private sector companies and establishments. It will continue until Sept. 15, 2022.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Saad Al-Hammad, spokesman of the ministry, said that penalty amounting is SR3,000. It will be imposed on the employer if they violate the regulations concerning each worker.
He said that the number of fines would be multiplied by the number of workers involved in violating the midday work ban.
The penalties include shutting down the establishment for a period not exceeding 30 days. It could also be closed permanently or face both fines and closure.
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This is in line with Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi.
He aims to preserve the health and safety of workers in the private sector through preventing their work in the open underneath direct sunlight.
The ministerial decision pushes private sector enterprises to provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment. These enterprises must spare them from any dangers and harm caused by sunlight and heat stress.
According to the spokesman, several governorates in some provinces of the Kingdom are exempted from the midday work ban decision.
This is given the variations in temperature. It drops in some governorates to levels that do not require a work ban in the designated midday hours.
Al-Hammad said that the decision comes within the framework of the ministry’s keenness to preserve the health and safety of workers in the private sector.
The decision is also relevant to commit to providing a healthy and safe work environment.
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Referring to the purpose of this decision, Al-Hammad said that the ministry attaches great importance to the safety and health of workers from the dangers of working under the sun.
”The church launched a unique procedural guide for occupational safety and health to prevent the effects of exposure to sunlight and heat stress,” he said.
The ministry spokesman stated the fines imposed on those who violate the decision.
He said that Article 6 of the table of violations and the corresponding penalties stipulates that fines will be charged to a particular employer.
Fines can be charged if he employs the worker under open sunlight or in bad climatic conditions; without taking the necessary precautions in violation of the times and periods specified in the ministerial decision.
Al-Hammad replied to queries on how the ministry deals with the diversity of temperatures in various regions of the Kingdom. He stated that the decision excludes several governorates in some areas of the Kingdom.
He added that the ministry is constantly coordinating with the emirates of the regions about the need to implement the decision in those regions and their affiliated governorates.
These decisions would be according to climatic conditions and temperatures prevailing in those regions during the midday work ban period.
According to monitoring carried out by Okaz/Saudi Gazette earlier, the amount of beneficiaries of the conclusion of the noon work ban is about 2.74 million female and male workers, mainly in the contracting sector.
The midday work ban conclusion excludes workers in the oil and gas companies and emergency maintenance employees. This is provided essential measures are taken to protect them from the damages of direct sunlight.
The ministry called upon employers to organize work hours and implement what is stipulated in this decision; as the church strives to provide a safe work environment from different occupational hazards.
It urged all to report any violation of the work banning decision via the ministry’s customer service phone number 199911.