Dubai Municipality adopts ‘Safety with a Smile’ initiative to beat the heat

The drive encourages companies to schedule high physical activities early morning or late afternoon and providing frequent breaks during the day shifts.

By Sajila Saseendran/senior Reporter

Published: Tue 16 Jun 2015, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:09 PM

Dubai Municipality has roped in Napo to promote awareness and spread word of safety during summer. — Supplied photo

Dubai - Employers have to go beyond providing midday break to workers in ensuring a safe summer for them, according to the Dubai Municipality’s Safe and Healthy Summer campaign.

The drive launched last week encourages companies to schedule high physical activities early morning or late afternoon and providing frequent breaks (maximum of five minutes) during the day shifts apart from taking various other measures to prevent heat stress. 

Through the campaign, the Occupational Health and Safety Section at the Municipality’s Public Health and Safety Department is addressing 120,000 companies registered with the Dubai government’s e-government portal, said Raed Al Marzouqi, the head of the section.

In the eighth year of the campaign this time, Al Marzouqi said, the civic body has adopted “Safety with a Smile” as the theme of the drive to comply with the Happy Dubai initiative.

Providing shaded area for work as much as possible, providing proper ventilation or fan are the responsibilities of the companies.

“The temperature should be below 37 degree Celsius,” a campaign poster designed to educate about preventing heat stress says.

Workers are also being told to make behavioural changes to fight heat stress.

The campaign is also in line with the initiative of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, to ensure better health of workers.

This year, the department has roped in Napo, an cartoon character introduced by the safety bodies in the European Union, to spread the word of safety.

The mascot of Napo and its films are being used to educate field employees in government departments and companies that joined us with the drive,” said Al Marzouqi.

He said it is easy to understand safety instructions through Napo films that do not have any language barriers since the characters communicate through body language and gestures only.

“The messages are simple and clear. The films tackle seemingly small safety issues with great impact. Watching them will help workers understand their carelessness and need for taking safety precautions and using proper personal protective equipment,” added Al Marzouqi. -

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