x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Abu Dhabi launches Safety in the Heat campaign for labourers

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi is launching its annual Safety in the Heat campaign to protect labourers from the elements.

A construction worker gulps down water while working in the heat. The Health Authority - Abu Dhabi launches its Safety in the Heat campaign tomorrow.
A construction worker gulps down water while working in the heat. The Health Authority - Abu Dhabi launches its Safety in the Heat campaign tomorrow.

DUBAI // An annual awareness campaign for ensuring the health of workers in the hot summer months will start tomorrow, officials said.

The Health Authority - Abu Dhabi's annual Safety in the Heat campaign will see tens of thousands of promotional materials distributed to companies in the capital over the coming months to reduce the number of heat-related illnesses, said Darren Joubert, a senior adviser for occupational health at the authority.

The Ministry of Labour's participation this year puts added weight into the campaign.

"They will be involved in promoting, so it will let more people know about it and will tell them that it's part of a combined effort," he said.

Now entering its third year, the campaign appears to be leading to permanent change.

"It's becoming more of an issue that people are becoming aware of and are taking measures to proactively address," he said.

Last month the authority published a paper in the American Journal of Public Health, evaluating the first year. It found that between 2008 and the introduction of the campaign in 2009, heat-related illnesses declined by almost 80 per cent at one company and 50 per cent at another. In that year the authority distributed 78,000 posters as well as DVDs and flyers advising how workers can stay well-hydrated and replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.

The materials were given to 465 companies employing 815,000 workers across 4,460 worksites and 1,794 labor residences, at a cost of US$436,000 (Dh1.6 million).

 

mcroucher@thenational.ae