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Health Authority Abu Dhabi Safety in the Heat Programme – Practical Interventions to controlling Heat Stress on site Darren Joubert Occupational and Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Authority Abu Dhabi Safety in the Heat Programme – Practical Interventions to controlling Heat Stress on site Darren Joubert Occupational and Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Authority Abu Dhabi Safety in the Heat Programme – Practical Interventions to controlling Heat Stress on site Darren Joubert Occupational and Environmental Health Public Health & Research Dept.

2 Practical Control Solutions Establish and enforce work in heat protocols and procedures Inform and train workers and supervisors to recognize heat stress symptoms and to control heat exposure. Training should be conducted in a language understood by the worker and should include: How the body overheats, symptoms of heat illness, acclimatization, work pacing and the importance of rest breaks and affects of clothing Implement First-Aid measures for heat-related disorders Encouraging good hydration (drinking 2 litres of water every 2-3 hours, drinking on the bus before work etc.)

3 Provision of preventative measures Provide workers with adequate amounts of drinking water close to the workplace and if possible electrolyte replacement drinks. Programmed drinking every hour can be implemented to encourage adequate fluid intake. Provide workers with appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment where applicable including a large personal water container (of at least 1-2 litres in size). Allow workers to self pace where applicable and take rests when they can to cool down.

4 Acclimatisation and medical issues Allow non-acclimatized workers (new arrivals or workers returning from vacation) time to acclimatize for 5-7 days before starting hard work in a hot environment in summer. Before working in hot conditions, pre-placement training (safety induction) should be given. Provide medical clearance for work in heat for any person with a chronic medical condition (e.g. high blood pressure, obesity) or requiring the use of certain prescription drugs (consult a doctor).

5 Engineering controls Insulation of ceilings to minimize solar heat transfer Providing shaded work areas Providing cooled and air-conditioned rest areas with water or electrolyte drinks available Using exhaust ventilation such as extraction hoods above heat-generating processes like a furnace or oven to remove heat Using forced air-ventilation such as fans to increase airflow across the skin and increase evaporation and cooling Using cooled air from an air-conditioning system

6 5 For Supervisors… Information pamphlets in different languages covering: What happens to the body when it is exposed to heat How heat exposure affects a worker – symptoms Prevention of Heat Illness – What you as a supervisor should do

7 6 For Workers – Key Points to Remember

8 Key point 1…Drinking enough water

9 How do you know?

10 IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER…… To Come to work fully hydrated (drink plenty of water before you get to work at least 1 Litre). To Drink plenty of water during the shift at least 2 litres every 2-3 hours in summer (or rehydration fluid approved by the employer one to one). To Drink water regularly and make it a way of life. Remind them if they drink water only when thirsty it is too late. To Carry a water container with you of at least 1-2 litres to fill regularly.

11 Key point 2…Salt Replacement POINTS to REMEMBER: If electrolyte replacement drinks are provided there is no need to add extra salt to your meals If someone has high blood pressure they should be checked by a doctor before working in heat or increasing salt intake If electrolyte drinks are consumed then they should alternate with a drink of water one to one over the day

12 Key point 3…Rest and Recovery Self-pace work – do not push beyond the bodies limits. Allow time at night to recover from the heat stress during the day Provide a well balanced health diet to help the body to recover – avoid coffee, cola and high sugar and fatty foods

13 Key point 4…Heat Illness Signs of Heat Illness: Encourage the reporting of all signs of heat illness to the supervisor (feeling faint, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, cramps). REMEMBER: HEAT ILLNESS CAN KILL SO BE AWARE!

14 13 What to do during Ramadan…. POINTS to REMEMBER: Try avoid heat exposure as much as possible during Ramadan Monitor for signs of heat illness such as skin rashes, dizziness, headaches Start the day well hydrated – for Suhoor with your meal eat fruits, vegetables and drink plenty of water and unsweetened fruit juice Avoid salty foods at Suhoor Drink water and fruit juices at Iftar before eating Avoid strenuous activity and rest in a cool place where possible

15 Responsibilities of Employers Heat exposure and heat stroke can be fatal if proper controls are not implemented. Employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health of their workers as stipulated by the UAE Labour Law (Federal Law No. 8 of 1980). Follow the Ministry of Labour Ministerial Resolution 587 for the midday break in summer Tentative dates: 15 June – 15 September 2011 To be confirmed by Ministry of Labour

16 3,017+ cases of heat-related illness seen at HCFs in Abu Dhabi Emirate, 2010

17 Thank you


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