RAK Police give workers shades, helmets
The civil defence department in Ras Al Khaimah, in a bid to beat the scorching summer temperatures, has distributed 200 sunshades and helmets to blue-collar workers at different construction sites in the northern emirate.

The move, according to informed sources, is meant to ease the suffering of the labourers who could not help working in open areas under the sun.

"The sun glasses and helmets, in line with the department social responsibility in the year of giving, will protect the workers against the high temperatures and heat exhaustion."

Muhammad Islah, an Indian, worker, said he was so happy with the sunshades and helmets he got. "They do decrease the impact of the sweltering summer temperatures."

The RAK civil defence department has also distributed cold drinking water and juices, Pakistani worker Ashraf Rahman said. "These few things do make a difference with us as we feel that people here care for us."

The department has further distributed brochures on the due safety procedures during the summer. "These are meant to develop the workers' awareness and protect them against heat exhaustion."

As per law, workers at open construction sites are eligible for a three-month midday break starting from June 15 every year.

These blue-collar workers often work long hours, sometimes more than six hours straight, under the scorching heat - with daytime temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius.

The midday break has been made compulsory by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for workers from June 15 to September 15. The break is from 12.30pm to 3pm.

Khalid Al Asar, an Egyptian worker who earns less than Dh2,500 per month, told Khaleej Times he could not stand the heat two days back, and almost lost consciousness.

"It's so hot, and that breaks seems to be the only way out, but the authorities concerned need to force our companies to secure proper air-conditioned rest areas; otherwise, we would be taking our break in hot and humid places, which are sometimes not fully shaded or cooled down."

Meanwhile, inspections are made at construction sites to ensure the rules are being followed. Violators will be fined Dh5,000 per person, if labourers are found working during the break hours, up to a maximum Dh50,000 if the case involves a large number of workers. The company will be downgraded with considerations of temporally stopping its right to function.