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Posted On: 16 June 2014 03:14 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

Awareness drive begins as summer break for workers takes effect

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With temperature soaring, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has launched a campaign to raise awareness among workers about heat stress and exhaustion and precautionary measures.

The SCH and the Ministry of Labour have also intensified inspections at work sites to ensure that the reduced summer working hours for outdoor workers, which took effect yesterday, are followed by companies.

All employers are required to give break for outdoor workers from 11.30pm to 3pm. The new timing is in force until August 31.

The law also mandates companies to provide potable water and shelters (rest area) at work sites during summer. Violation of rules will invite hefty fines.

Besides monitoring work sites, inspectors from the SCH and the ministry have also been interacting with workers and distributing brochures and leaflets to educate them on how to beat the heat.

The campaign is titled ‘Enjoy your summer safety’.

Since the beginning of May, SCH inspectors have visited 208 work sites as part of the awareness drive, a workshop on occupational health and safety was told recently.

More than 200 representatives from occupational health and safety departments of companies and organisations attended the SCH workshop.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Mohammed Al Thani, Director, Public Health Department, SCH, said heat-related injuries in Qatar had fallen significantly in 2013, compared to 2011 and 2012, due to increased awareness among workers and employers.

“We now have work sites free of heat-related injuries because our inspectors have been conducting awareness campaigns there for several years,” said Al Thani.

Work site accidents during summer may result from fatigue, weakness and dizziness — major symptoms of heat stress.

A brochure prepared by the SCH in English and Arabic titled ‘Heat stress can be deadly’ includes guidelines for outdoor workers and employers.

Precautionary measures against heat stress include: Drink cool water; wear light, loose clothing; schedule more frequent breaks; eat right, eat light; use sunscreen and keep your head covered outdoors; provide shaded area for work as much as possible; and avoid soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department forecast strong dust winds and high seas today.

Temperature in Doha would hover between 32 and 42 degrees Celsius while Mesaieed and Al Wakrah are expected to be hotter by noon.