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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Public rally to raise money for Lusail security guard pictured in heat


The funds will be used for an air-conditioned cabin for the security guard who was pictured sitting in the heat.

A Snapchat photo of a Lusail security guard sitting outside in 45 degree heat made the rounds on Monday, prompting Qatar’s community to come together to take action to provide an air-conditioned cabin.

The Snapchat post read “Lusail give us permission and we will purchase an air-conditioned cabin. It will be considered charity work for people to participate in.”

The image, which quickly spread across other social media platforms, also triggered a debate on the conditions of labour during Qatar’s summers, where temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees.

In May, Qatar introduced a new law that bans outdoor work during summer. Per new legislation, staff are prohibited to work outside between 10am and 3:30pm starting from 1 June and up until 15 September every year.

Read also: Qatar closes 232 work sites in just one month for violating summer working hours

This replaces earlier legislation issued in 2007 that set the prohibited outdoor summertime working hours from 11:30am to 3:00pm between 15 June until 31 August.

Several companies have been fined and temporarily closed for breaking the law, with authorities confirming at least 232 companies hit with penalties in June alone.

Though action has been taken against mostly construction companies, the image of the security guard this week prompted calls for more attention on guards working outdoors.

One tweet read “security companies in Qatar need to be inspected and monitored by the responsible authorities. I noticed our security employees in the ministry are given additional tasks outside of their job descriptions, and besides that, their salaries are less than QR2,000 and they are crowded into housing in the industrial area that lacks the most basic necessities and they do not have health insurance.”

Another Twitter user raised the issue of valet drivers and food delivery drivers working in the heat, saying that there “needs to be strict laws.”

In a response online, Lusail City said it is aware of the situation and has taken steps.

“We received a picture of a security worker working in the afternoon, and the necessary measures were taken. The administration of Lusail City is keen to follow up on all health and safety procedures for all workers, and to take precautions against sunstroke and heat stress during the summer in order to ensure the workers in this atmosphere, while providing them with dedicated and air-conditioned places,” a statement said.

In June, local delivery service Snoonu made headlines after announcing it would be providing cars for delivery riders to protect them from Qatar’s “unbearable heat” during the summer period.

The move, triggered by similar calls on social media, is designed to protect riders from extreme heat stress during the summer, which poses a risk to both staff and the general public on the road.

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