x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Hospitals warn on heat stroke

Casualty wards are still seeing daily cases of heat exhaustion among labourers, despite a ban on construction work during the hottest hours of the day.

SHARJAH // Casualty wards are still seeing daily cases of heat exhaustion among labourers, despite the ban on construction work during the hottest hours of the day. Since the beginning of July, when the Ministry of Labour's three-hour break came into effect, doctors at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah have reported eight to 10 daily cases of heat exhaustion, down from last year, when they received 15 to 20 per day.

An official from Ras al Khaimah's Ibrahim Obaidullah hospital said the emergency ward there had treated 18 cases among workers since June. Meanwhile, ministry officials found 25 sites in RAK violating break rules, and three sites in Sharjah out of 727 visited, said Humaid bin Demas, the ministry's acting director general. Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, the medical director at the Kuwaiti Hospital, said most of its heat exhaustion cases had come from construction companies.

He warned that workers who stayed out in the open during the middle of the day were at risk of developing symptoms including skin that was red, hot and dry, a rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. He said direct sun could affect the digestive system and cause a number of skin diseases. Dr Yousef al Serkal, the hospital's director general, said it seemed that some companies were not providing workers with enough water to keep them hydrated.

Most of the men treated left the hospital on the same day or the next. ykakande@thenational.ae