20 workers fall prey to heat in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI — Twenty labourers were admitted to an emergency clinic in the capital yesterday after they showed symptoms of severe heat illness, Khaleej Times has learnt.

By Nada S.mussallam

Published: Sun 13 Aug 2006, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:09 PM

"Between 10am and 3.30pm, 20 labourers, complaining of heat exhaustion and other complications, were admitted to the emergency clinic. They were all working outdoor," said a source at the Central Emergency Unit here.

The labourers required immediate medical interventions as they complained of severe headache, fatigue, weakness and body pain, said the source.

However, they were not diagnosed as having sunstrokes. "It appeared that the labourers were exposed to the sun for a long time. They weren't given proper shades and cooling facilities," he said.

Sources said that nearly all the workers were discharged on the same day after receiving the necessary medical treatment.

An increase in the number of heat illness and sunstroke cases among outdoor workers is likely, thanks to the soaring temperatures in the hot and humid month of August.

Qassim Jameel, Head of the Inspection Department at the Ministry of Labour, stressed that the ministry conducts regular inspection tours at various construction sites to check whether companies are abiding by occupational health and safety conditions.

"Inspection visits are now carried out daily to leave no room for companies to commit breaches related to the safety and comfort of labourers. This system has greatly helped in reducing violations," said Jameel.

Regarding heat exhaustion cases over the past few days, sources said that during the first week of August, only a handful of workers had been treated for heat illness.

According to the Meteorological Department at the National Authority of Communications, during August 2 to 11, the temperature rose up to 44 degree Celsius while the humidity level stood at 50-65 per cent.

The maximum temperature yesterday was 42 degree Celsius in Abu Dhabi and the maximum humidity was registered at 70 per cent.

The maximum temperature will hover around 44 degree Celsius in the next two days and the humidity level will climb up to 80 per cent. "It will be hazy and dusty at times. And low/towering clouds over the eastern areas in the afternoon and evening are expected in the next 48 hours," according to the met department.

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