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How to avoid falling sick during UAE's summer months

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on June 15, 2017
How to avoid falling sick during UAEs summer months

(KT file photo)

Employers and employees must adopt a precautionary approach

Summer temperatures in the Middle East can reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius, making heat- related illness such as heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat stroke a very serious concern.

The blue-collar workers often work long hours, sometimes more than six hours straight, under the scorching heat - making the heavy labour unbearable.

The midday break has been made compulsory by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for workers from June 15 to September 15. The break is from 12.30pm to 3pm.

The Dubai Municipality has taken initiatives to raise awareness and educate the employers and workers about the consequences of these disorders.

The municipality's focus is on companies to improve the health and safety standards for workers.

In the current 'Safe and Healthy Summer Campaign', the focus of the Public Health and Safety Department of Dubai Municipality is on the employer.

The campaign guidelines contain basic information about heat-related illness - from employer or management inventions, workers responsibilities as well as precautionary measures to stay safe and healthy during summer.

How to avoid falling sick during UAE's summer months (KT12117615.PNG)
What employers need to do:

Employers should take the following precautions to protect workers from heat stress:

They must make heat stress assessment, develop and implement stress management programme where a worker is or may be exposed to condition that could trigger heat-related disorders.

Must provide adequate training to all workers at risk and at least maintain the following steps:

иа How heat stress and heat stroke develop

иа How to prevent heat stress

иа Importance of monitoring yourself and co-workers for symptoms personal factors (like medical conditions, weight, etc.)

иа What to do if he or his co-worker develops heat illness at wok

иа Personal protective equipment

Employers must implement engineering or administrative control measures such as:

иа Schedule work to minimise heat exposure

иа Establish work and rest cycle or practise job rotation

иа Acclimatise workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work environment.

иа Provide constant supply of cool drinking water and electrolyte replacement drink

иа Ensure arrangement of welfare facilities

иа Ensure proper arrangement for first aid or medical assistance in case of emergency

иа Provide adequate supervision to all workers concerned

иа Do not allow workers to work alone when heat stress is possible

How to avoid falling sick during UAE's summer months (KT12120615.PNG)

What employees need to do:

Workers should take these precautions to avoid heat stress:

Be physically fit

Stay hydrated

Avoid oily food, heavy meals. Instead consume more fruits and vegetables.

Do not overexert or push yourself; if you are getting tired, slowdown or work at a steady pace.

Take regular breaks in cool or shaded areas.

Monitor your physical condition

Report any symptom or cases of heat rash or stress to your superior.

How to avoid falling sick during UAE's summer months (KT12121615.PNG)

Symptoms of heat stress

High temperature combined with humidity leads to excessive sweating in an attempt to cool body. This causes various heat related illness and can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if uncontrolled.

Safety problem

Human error on decision making and risk perception are primary causes or contribute to serious accidents

Dehydration is one of the important factors that affect the sense of bony position leading to accidents. Even mild dehydration leads to deterioration in short term memory, simple visual orientation and complex motor coordination.

How to avoid falling sick during UAE's summer months (KT12118615.PNG)

Factors influencing heat stress

The heating and cooling balance in the body depends on the following factors:

Environment factors: Environment factors such as ambient air temperature, air movement, and relative humidity can affect an individual's response to heat.

Job factors: Job factors may include the work load and type of an individual as well as specific area or location of his work.

Personal risk factors:

иа Weight, age, etc.

иа Poor physical condition

иа Previous or recent illness/ medical condition

иа Lifestyle (lack of rest, eating, alcohol consumption)

иа Lack of acclimatisation

иа Good practise to prevent heat stress

иа Maintain hydration by drinking water and electrolyte for quick hydration

иа Personal hygiene - take shower before and after duty

иа Eat healthy food- avoid oily/fatty foods

иа Get enough rest and avoid caffeine, sodas

иа Acclimatise - let your body gradually adjust to the heat

иа Maintain hydration by drinking water and electrolyte for quick hydration

иа Urine check/ chart- check your urine colour for signs of dehydration

иа Wear comfortable loose cloths such as cotton

иа Use personal protective equipment like hats, sunscreens, coveralls

иа Schedule work to minimise heat exposure

иа Take rest breaks in a cool, shaded or ventilated area.

иа Learn to recognise symptoms of heat stress

иа Avoid working alone

иа Always report to your superior if you feel unwell in the course of duty






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