What is the Safety in Heat program?
OSHAD have launched the Safety in Heat program to raise awareness about the procedures that must be implemented for the heat stress management program by employers and supervisors in order to protect workers from the summer heat in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Safety in Heat program is supported by the Ministry of Labour in accordance with the law that states employers must not allow workers to perform any outdoor activities from 12:30pm until 3:00pm. This law will be applied for three months (from June 15 to September 15).
Why Safety in Heat?
It is important to note that workers who work under the sun, especially in the summer, may be exposed to many occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion, fainting, cramps and rashes. High temperatures can also lead to injuries among workers through sweating hands and dizziness.
The workers who are most exposed to heat stress are labourers working outdoors (such as construction workers, cleaners, agricultural workers).
The prevention of heat stress is very important and all employers are required to provide education and training for their employees to help them understand the effects of heat stress and how to prevent it.
Employers must take appropriate action to protect workers from heat stress, such as providing rest periods in shaded places and a permanent supply of drinking water.
Objectives of the Safety in Heat program
Provide needed information to employers that operate within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and have workers in places with high temperatures (exposed to the sunlight directly or in an open space exposed to hot weather) and thermal processes that take place within the work site (furnace or oven, and other activities that are characterized by high temperature.
Assist and guide employers to implement the heat stress management program, and to ensure proper control measures to protect workers from the sun’s rays.
Provide educational material for health and safety professionals, supervisors and workers, that include various responsibilities needed to prevent and to remedy illnesses caused by high temperatures. The educational materials are a major part of the heat stress program procedures.
Provide educational messages directed at workers in several languages.
Provide models for inspection and examination for employers to determine the requirements that should be available in the workplace to reduce the effects of heat stress.
Increasing awareness about the illnesses associated with high temperatures and ways to prevent them.
Recommendations for Employers
Employers should take the following steps to protect employees from heat stress:
• Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in hot areas for cooler months;
• Schedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day;
• Acclimatize employees by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot workplaces;
• Reduce the physical demands of employees;
• Use relief employees or assign extra employees for physically demanding jobs;
• Provide cool water or liquids to employees:
o Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar.
• Provide rest periods with water breaks;
• Provide cool areas for use during break periods;
• Monitor employees who are at risk of heat stress;
• Provide heat stress training that includes information about:
o Employee risk;
o The importance of monitoring oneself and co-workers for symptoms;
o Treatment; and\
o Personal protective equipment.
Recommendations for Employees
Employees should avoid exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these exposures cannot be avoided, employees should take the following steps to prevent heat stress:
• Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton:
o Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
• Gradually build up to heavy work;
• Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day;
• Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity:
o Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
• Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty;
• Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar;
• Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress; and
• Monitor your physical condition and that of your co-workers.
How to get involved?
OSHAD’s Safety in Heat campaign provides advice and guidance on how to work safely in the high summer temperatures and OSHAD invites all organisations or companies in government and private sectors to participate in the campaign in a number of ways, as outlined in the following sections.
First: How to participate as an entity in the campaign:
Organisations and companies can liaise with their health and safety divisions to implement a heat stress policy and action plan.
This can include providing guides and workshops for employees to educate them about the risks of heat stress and the appropriate measures to be taken.
Download and print OSHAD’s Safety in Heat campaign materials to display around your workplace. This includes posters and leaflets for employers, managers and employees.
To add entities logo on safety in heat materials please fill the form and send it back to us at email@example.com. OSHAD will publish participating organisations’ names on the Partners page of the website and grant them participation certificates. Participants in the 2015, Participants in the 2016, Participants in the 2017
To see example Click Here
Send awareness messages through the entity’s social media accounts using the campaign hashtag #SafetyinHeat.
Second: Get a Certificate for Sharing Your Story
If you have conducted any events, campaigns, participated in printing and distributing the printing materials or organized other activities in your company or community, send OSHAD a case study at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a summary of your procedures and activities and we will promote your activities and achievements on our Safety in Heat website.
Study Cases 2017
Third: Be a Partner and a Sponsor
Become an official campaign partner by sponsoring OSHAD’s Safety in Heat activities this year and in the years to come. Send an email to email@example.com if you would like to receive more information about sponsorship opportunities.
Fourth: Be a Media Partner
Join us to raise awareness about the campaign by using different channels to announce the campaign and promote it. Media partnerships are booked for entities who own visual media outlets and social media channels able to intensively engage in the campaign.
Fifth: Safety in Heat Competition
The “Safety in Heat Program” Competition has been created to recognize and reward entities that comply with the requirements of Abu Dhabi Occupational Safety and Health System Framework (OSHAD SF) and the midday break law and also provide and maintain world-class working conditions for their workforce during the difficult summer months.
For More information please see the booklet