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Sunday , September 26 2021

Inspectors at risk as residency, labor law violations detected at work sites

Contractors blamed

KUWAIT CITY, June 24: A field inspection tour of the South Abdullah Al-Mubarak Residential Project, which is witnessing an increase in the building of residential plots, was conducted by the National Center for Occupational Health and Safety, affiliated with the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM). During the inspection tour, a number of labor related violations were discovered including failure to comply with the residency and labor laws, and violation of the decision that bans outdoor work during midday hours due to the scorching summer heat, reports Al-Qabas daily. The tour revealed the extent of the risks that PAM inspectors face when dealing with labor violations. As soon as the inspection team arrived at one of the residential plots, the site contractors fled the site, leaving their workers hanging on the ceilings of the plots, although the team attended to implement the decision to prevent working during the midday hours.

The team was able to issue warnings for more than 30 workers within minutes of the start of the inspection tour. The tour revealed the extent of contractors’ negligence of the decision and their keenness to make laborers work in the afternoon in the South Abdullah Al-Mubarak area when the temperatures reach more than 50 degrees Celsius, despite the laborers’ knowledge of the decision. It was remarkable during the tour that the center’s inspectors, led by the Head of the Occupational Safety Department in Farwaniya Governorate Mansour Al-Mutairi, sought to educate workers about the danger of not complying with the decision and its health repercussions on them, in addition to the repercussions of violating the residency and labor laws by those working for a company or an entity that is not their sponsor.

Implement
He stressed the keenness of Kuwait to implement the decision that bans outdoor work during the midday hours from 11:00am to 4:00 pm in order to protect this category of workers from the summer heat. Al-Mutairi indicated that this decision is an affirmation of Kuwait’s humanitarian role as the global center for humanitarian work. He said, “The decision came into effect this June and will continue until the end of August, as these three months witness a rise in temperatures and weather fluctuations”. Regarding the procedures, Al-Mutairi explained that the inspectors record minutes and warnings to avoid violations. After a working day has passed, the inspectors return to the site. The inspectors are constantly exposed to dangers due to workers fleeing the site.

The tour on Tuesday included only seven sites from where 30 violations were recorded, most of which were against workers who are in violation of the residency and domestic labor laws. It is worth mentioning that, even though citizens have been waiting for many years for their residential plots to be built, their lack of interest in following up the construction and building operations contributes to the entry of marginal labor and violation of daily work that contractors rely on. It was discovered during the tour that the majority of laborers at construction sites hold residencies for domestic workers, customs brokers, air freight and other types of professions that are not specialized in the construction industry. The inspectors told the daily that the procedure being followed requires the submission of a detailed report on the violators to the concerned department, which is then referred to the Ministry of Interior to take legal measures if the worker is under article 20 visa. During one of the tours by the inspection team on government road projects, the team found two laborers working on a pedestrian bridge project on Route 6.5. After checking their civil IDs, it was discovered that they hold article 20 work permits which are intended for domestic workers.

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