Don’t forget your parasol if you want to go to work

There is a cute little logo to illustrate the midday working ban this year. It features a matchstick man sitting in the lotus position underneath an umbrella and holding what looks like a pint of Guinness, but is probably meant to be a glass of water.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  July 15, 2006

Don’t forget your parasol if you want to go to work|~||~||~|There is a cute little logo to illustrate the midday working ban this year. It features a matchstick man sitting in the lotus position underneath an umbrella and holding what looks like a pint of Guinness, but is probably meant to be a glass of water. He isn’t wearing a hard hat — which I guess is at least one authentic touch. It is an image of Zen-like relaxation, which is supposed to represent the worker at midday rest. Matchstick man site worker looks happy and minty fresh — even if it is 50 degrees Celsius in the shade. Speaking at the launch of the new summertime working regulations, HE Dr Khalid Khazrai urged contractors to provide all the necessary facilities to site workers during the summer months, including cold water, cooling systems, first aid equipment and . . . umbrellas. A nice thought, I suppose. But there is a bit of a knack to handling a shovel while holding an umbrella at the same time. It’s why Bing Crosby never attempted it in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. This year’s announcement of the midday working ban came with a bit more fanfare than last year’s launch. Apart from the ‘Worker at Rest’ logo, there were seminars in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the dangers of heat stress. It is a reflection of just how far construction worker welfare has moved up the agenda here in the last year. There was also the warning that contractors who flout the law will be named and shamed. It is worth remembering that the same warning was issued last year, but not carried out. This year, we are told it will be different. According to the Ministry of Labour, a list of companies in breach of the regulations could be published as early as this weekend. That would be a very significant step. It would prove the ministry means business and that the midday working regulations represent a law rather than a logo. In the meantime, if you see the odd site worker in the coming weeks sitting cross-legged under a brolly at lunchtime and sipping from a pint glass, don’t be alarmed. It’s progress of sorts. Sean Cronin Editor||**||

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