Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre launches programme to enhance workers protection from heat stress

ABU DHABI, 14th June, 2021 — Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) has launched the “Safety in Heat” programme coinciding with the decision to prohibit work during midday in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The programme prohibits working outdoors during midday during the summer and in facilities where workers are working under direct sunlight from 12:30 to 15:00. This law will be applicable for three months (from 15th June to 15th September) every year. As part of its yearly activities, the centre aims to launch this programme to raise awareness on taking the necessary measures by employers and supervisors to protect workers from heat and avoid exposure to heat stress. The programme focuses on educating workers about the risks they run by being exposed to sunlight during midday, and about and methods of protection. Matar Al Nuaimi, ADPHC Director-General, said that the initiative reflects the interest of the Abu Dhabi Government in educating workers and employers about their rights and duties to preserve their safety and reduce the number of injuries resulting from heat stress. It also reflects the centre’s commitment, as the body concerned with public health affairs including occupational health and safety.

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He added that the programme – launched with strategic partners – covers various sectors operating in Abu Dhabi, such as construction, waste, energy, tourism, culture, health, transportation, and food sectors. ADPHC provides, through this annual awareness programme, a variety of materials that assist businesses in dealing with this issue. ADPHC will provide support and advice to all businesses in this regard. ADPHC, through this programme, calls on all businesses that exercise their activities within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and have workers in open places under direct sunlight to familiarise them with the requirements of the “Safety in Heat” and implement them. It also urges businesses to ensure the development of proper health control measures to protect them from heat stress, as well as the distribution of responsibilities and the provision of necessary online training in this period for all concerned people. The centre calls on all businesses to print the instructions on eating healthy food, drinking water, taking breaks and wearing suitable personal protective equipment and others, and to distribute them in the places where workers gather. Al Nuaimi also remarked on the necessity of strict compliance to preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 at work.