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Hottest day on record!

SUNDAY was officially the hottest June day on record - with Bahrain's temperatures peaking at 46.9C. That is more than a degree hotter than the previous record of 45.8C, set in 2008, Civil Aviation Affairs Meteorology Affairs Assistant Under-Secretary Abdul Majeed Isa told the GDN yesterday.

However, he revealed the mini heat wave that has roasted Bahrain for the past few weeks could be over by the weekend.

"We feel the temperature will come down in the next few days because north-westerly shamaal winds are already bringing them down," said Mr Isa, who expected temperatures to drop to 39C by Friday.

Meanwhile, a senior Labour Ministry official revealed most of Bahrain's employers were already enforcing a complete ban on outdoor work between noon and 4pm - even though the ban doesn't officially start until July 1.

Labour inspections and labour union director Ahmed Al Haiki said random checks revealed very few people were working in the heat as temperatures soared.

He added there were no plans to bring forward the ban, since few firms were forcing staff to brave the heat outdoors during peak hours.

However, he stressed that companies caught flouting the ban, which comes into force on July 1 and continues until the end of August, would face prosecution.

"Around 40 inspectors will be monitoring worksites around Bahrain to ensure the ban is being enforced," said Mr Al Haiki.

"We are very encouraged with the fact that most companies are already implementing the ban and not waiting for another 10 days.

"We all realise it is very hot and impossible to work in the day."

This will be the fourth year that the summer ban on outdoor work will be enforced, with companies facing fines of BD50 to BD300 for each employee caught working outside.

The GDN previously reported that cases involving more than 2,500 workers were taken to court last year, while several cases of heat exhaustion have already been reported at Salmaniya Medical Complex this year.

Companies are being advised to keep workers well stocked with salt tablets and water to prevent dehydration.

mandeep@gdn.com.bh



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