With summer kicking in and daytime temperatures found to be drastically increasing in the state, the Kerala Labour Commission on Tuesday put out an order modifying the work hours of labourers who have to work out in the sun. The new modification is to prevent labourers from getting sunstroke that has been widely reported in the state during the summer months in recent years.
According to the order by the Labour Commissioner, labourers working outside should not work between 12pm and 3pm from February 11 to April 30. Accordingly, the eight-hour work time period has also been shifted from 7am to 7pm.
“As the daytime temperature is found to be rising exponentially, there are chances for those working in sun to incur sunstrokes. In public interest, according to the Kerala Minimum Wages Rules of 1958, the working hours of those who work in the sun has been changed,” the order states.
It also says that if locally, any changes are required to be made in the modified time, a report should be given to the regional Joint Labour Commissioner / Chief Inspector of plantations or the labour commissioner.
“Those working in the morning shift will have a break from 12 pm to 3 pm. Other morning and evening shifts should be modified accordingly so that either the shifts end at 12pm or start after 3pm,” it says.
But the Labour Commission has excluded those regions in higher altitudes, from the new change in time. “Those areas above 3,000 feet from the sea-level, where there are no chances of sunstroke are excluded from the change in work time,” it stated.
The order has also been passed to all district collectors.
The state disaster management authority has also put out directions that people have to take, in order to prevent sunstroke and sunburns. As per the directions, vulnerable groups like aged people, children and pregnant women should avoid being directly exposed to the sun in between 12pm and 3pm. It has also been directed that people should seek the help of primary health centres at once when they feel tiredness or any other ailments after being exposed to the sun.