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Dhaka Tribune

Four Bangladeshi workers die from heat in Oman

Update : 04 Jun 2017, 09:04 PM
Four Bangladeshi workers died when they worked in extreme heat during the first week of Ramadan in Oman, reported The National, an Abu Dhabi-based news organisation. Most of the deaths were caused by head injuries, local hospital records showed. , the fasting labourers are dying for working outdoors in a particularly vulnerable situation and under intense heat. According to the meteorological office, temperature has reached a record 50°C, the hottest in the past eight years. "They lose fluid from their bodies very quickly working out in the open under the heat of the sun. They get weak and dizzy and just fall to the ground. Some are lucky and just get injured. The others, unfortunately, lose their lives," Dr Sadiqa Tariq, a doctor from Al Hail Health Centre, told The National. Last year, hospitals registered nine worker deaths as a result of falls during Ramadan, said The National. People living near construction sites said they see the labourers working full days. Aous Al Farsi, whose house is next to a construction site in Muscat, told The National: "The workers work from seven in the morning to six in the evening with just a one-hour break in between. They don’t get the benefit of reduced working hours in Ramadan. Most of the day they are out in the open while fasting." The government of Oman reduced the working day by two hours during Ramadan but companies are not required to follow the rule as they pay overtime for the extra hours of work, said The National. According to The National, construction workers in Oman typically get paid about 180 riyals (Tk3,868) per month. Mohammed Jamal, a bricklayer, fell from the scaffolding of a building he was working on during Ramadan last year but survived with just a broken leg. He returned to work after two months. "We don’t get any relief in Ramadan. It is the same working hours," Jamal said to The National. "It is hard to work while fasting. You get dizzy and very weak but we need the money to send home to our families for Eid. We have no choice," he added.
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