Up the oven they go, to sleep in a deck

Up the oven they go, to sleep in a deck Staff Reporter / 6 June 2013 Some bakery workers in the Capital have to climb through an oven to get into a cramped, dusty and smelly ‘deck’ where they live, a recent inspection of their accommodation has revealed. The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City launched an intensified inspection of workers’ accommodation units provided by their employers, during which it was discovered that many live in cramped and unhygienic conditions, which often double up as storerooms. In one of the cases, inspectors found a smelly, dusty overhead deck in one of the bakeries, which was used as lodging and sleeping place for the bakery workers with very poor living conditions. “Workers gain access to the upper deck of the bakery by climbing up the oven of the bakery in order to conceal the place from inspectors. It also contains casual extensions of electricity and sewage, and lacks health factors such as sunlight and air-circulation,” said Municipality public health director, Khalifa Mohammed Al Rumaithi. These places, he added, “lack the least principles of public health” and were mostly over-crowded with workers living next to gas cylinders or in rooms that doubled as storerooms. “The Municipality acts with these contraventions according to the provisions of the law. Offenders are offered one week’s time to redress their conditions and remove additions and causes of offences in order to avoid legal questioning, and issuing of offence tickets to them, but judicial transgressions will be enforced against repeaters,” Al Rumaithi said. He called upon business owners to use suitable premises for accommodation and refrain from using work facilities for accommodation and stressed the importance of removing them. The official advised these establishments to ensure the provision of a healthy accommodation for workers and compliance with the occupational health and safety stipulations in order to maintain the health of workers, avoid subjecting them to accidents and injuries, provide suitable health and living conditions, and address the public health requirements at those facilities. He reiterated the commitment of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City to continuously ensure the compliance of business and occupational outlets and warehouses to provide suitable accommodation to workers and avoid using overhead deck for accommodation and storage purposes. Al Rumaithi added the Municipality would continue its inspection campaigns to combat all sorts of unlawful additions and structures made in installations at villas, flats, buildings and residential and commercial outlets in order to ensure the highest standards of living and sustainable environment for the residents of Abu Dhabi city. He called for strict compliance with the standards of public health, and the applicable laws in order to ensure a decent living for all community members. Workers were a key community segment that had made a considerable contribution to the comprehensive development in Abu Dhabi, he said. news@khaleejtimes.com Taylor Scott International

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