‘Evaporative coolers can protect construction workers from heat stress’

Dubai ConsThe construction workers at Burj Khalifa working under extreme heat. (Image source: Sam Nabi/Flickr)Industry experts revealed that heat stress remains a major concern for the safety of construction workers in the UAE and surrounding region, as the infrastructure projects are rapidly growing in the Middle East and North Africa, with an expected spending worth US$280bn by 2018

Currently, the construction market in the Middle East is growing at a faster pace than any other region in the world in 2017, according to BMI Research’s recent report.

The report further stated that due to the government’s rapid investment in infrastructure projects in the region, there is a need for both the private and government organisations to ensure that productivity remains high during the summer months to reach demands. BMI stressed that the industry leaders must take steps to keep the construction force healthy due to the extreme heat in the region.

Thomas Morrison, marketing director of Portacool LLC, global cooling solution provider, said, “Typically during the summer months, productivity has been reported to decrease as a result of heat.”

Morrison suggested that steps like regular hydration, lightweight clothing for the workers and time off work should be taken to avoid the hottest part of the day to keep the workers safe from the heat.

He emphasised, “To reduce health risks and productivity losses from excessive heat, we recommend keeping outdoor or open work environments cool and comfortable with evaporative coolers, such as Portacool portable evaporative coolers.” Morrison explained that the Portacool evaporative coolers have been designed for spot cooling services, aiming to provide relief in places where air conditioning might not be feasible to install.

Considering the effect of heat stress on workers’ health and productivity, the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation in Dubai recently announced a mandatory midday break for labourers during the summer months from 15 June to 15 September.

Portacool said that it is working with the contractors in the region to raise awareness about the dangers of heat stress among the construction workers.

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