Gulf Times - Jun 16, 2013
A visit to garages will reveal that the workers perform their duties without adequate protection from the heat - thereby getting exhausted in no time - due to the nature of their work. It’s not just construction labourers who have to work in simmering conditions during the summer. Those employed in garages and automobile workshops, too, face the heat as they are exposed to the harsh weather.
A visit to garages will reveal that the workers perform their duties without adequate protection from the heat - thereby getting exhausted in no time - due to the nature of their work.
While regulations of the Ministry of Labour provide some relief to the construction workers as they cannot be made to work between 11am and 3pm during the summer, it is not clear if this rule applies to garage mechanics as well.
“It is doubtful if there is any such restriction on the duty hours of garage workers in the country,” said a Sri Lankan worker at a garage in Bin Mahmoud.
The sight of garage workers toiling under scorching conditions is common on Garage Street, Industrial Area. “It is high time restrictions are put in place on outdoor as well as indoor duties for garage workers during the day in summer,” said a worker at a workshop in Najma.
Those employed in automobile workshops in the Industrial Area felt it would help if their duties were scheduled in the evening during summer.
A section of garage operators, too, had similar views. One of them, who has a garage on Wakalat Street, said it would do his company a world of good if the authorities enforced regulations to reschedule the summer timings of automobile workshops so that they could start work in the evening. This, he added, would lead to greater productivity as the workers would be able to perform their duties more efficiently.
It is also felt that garages need to have only emergency staff in the morning hours during the summer.
Senior personnel involved in the business said a large number of vehicle owners would keep their vehicles in garages and workshops for annual maintenance before leaving for their summer holidays. As a result, the garage workers would end up handling extra load during this season. “Due to the adverse weather conditions, work gets delayed at many workshops,” a garage owner said.
Sources in the industry said some workers would refuse to return after going on leave due to the poor working conditions in many garages here. Operating in such unhygienic and unhealthy environs takes a toll on workers’ health, said a senior mechanic of a Doha garage.
He said due to the good working conditions of his workshop that the company, which represents a major automobile brand, was able to retain its workers.