UAE issues new decree for safety and well-being of construction workers

Staff Report,

17 Feb 2022

Mandatory accommodation below AED1,500 salary threshold, HSE officer on-site, compulsory protective gear and stoppage of outdoor work during summer afternoons among provisions of new law

UAE issues new decree for safety and well-being of construction workers

Construction companies and contractors in the UAE who employ 50 or more workers at wages below AED1,500 ($408) each per month are now also required to provide them accommodation, according to a new decree issued by the government.

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation recently issued the decree aimed at enhancing the safety and conditions of labourers in the construction and industrial sectors, with the added provision that the workers will not be permitted to work outdoors or in places under the sun from 12:30pm to 3pm from June 15 to September 15.

Reports in the UAE media said the decree aims to detail the responsibilities of both employees and employers in an effort to ensure work stability and increased productivity of the workplace.

Among other provisions of the decree, industrial establishments and companies with 100 or more employees need to hire a health and safety officer to ensure labourers are protected from various risks in the workplace. The officer will be tasked to ensure safety procedures are being met in construction sites.
According to the decree, workers should be provided with safety gear and suitable clothing to protect them from any injuries on site. First aid kits and fire extinguishers will also need to be placed on construction premises, along with a specialist on site to deliver first aid when needed.

The decree also requires employers to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of employees against injuries, diseases or any hazards in the workplace, such as sharp objects, explosive or inflammable materials, electric circuits and compressed gases.

Workers are obliged by law to use protective gear and follow instructions at all times after being properly briefed by the employer. The decree grants employers the right to impose penalties on each worker who violates safety measures at work.

The ministry also said it is coordinating with the relevant authorities to ensure that insurance is being provided for workers, the reports added.

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