Municipality warns workers against direct sun exposure

Abu Dhabi Municipality gave tips to the workers on how to deal with emergency cases resulting from dehydration while onsite.

Construction and outdoor workers in Abu Dhabi have been warned against working under the hot sun for long, especially during the afternoon, as it can result in heatstroke and other related complications.

During a remote workshop, the Abu Dhabi Municipality also gave tips to the workers on how to deal with emergency cases resulting from dehydration while onsite. Workers were advised to drink lots of fluids and juices. In the past there have been many cases of workers suffering from heatstroke while working under the sun without consuming adequate water.

The civic body also made workers aware about their rights on getting their mandatory rest during the midday break in the summer months.

The midday break rule stipulates no work from 12.30pm to 3pm for outdoor workers from June 15 to September 15. The law also requires employers to post a clear schedule informing workers about the daily working hours during the midday break period, and providing them shelter during the resting periods.

Employers were also urged to provide health kits to treat workers exposed to hazards and dangerous tools, in addition to following safety instructions, and distribute awareness leaflets to both employers and labourers to promote such awareness.

According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, violators will be fined Dh5,000 per worker found working during the break hours. The fines can go up to a maximum of Dh50,000 if the case involves a huge number of workers. The company’s rating will also be degraded, and their operations temporally stopped.

The Abu Dhabi Police has also urged the general people against engaging in excessive physical activities under the direct sun, as it can lead to loss of large amounts of salt and water, and sunstroke, which can be fatal if not treated right away. Sunstroke occurs when the body is unable to control the temperature.

“Sunstroke may progressively lead to damaging one’s brain cells or the internal organs such as the heart or kidneys,” a police officer said.

“The body temperatures can reach 41 degrees Celsius during a sunstroke. The symptoms of sunstroke include nausea, rapid heartbeat, muscle spasm, hallucinations and disorientation, lack of sweating, despite high fever, loss of consciousness and fainting.”

People were advised to drink enough water, wear loose and light clothing that would allow for proper airflow, and avoid being out in open spaces for long.

In case of heat-related problems, police urged people to seek assistance by calling 999 and describing the type of injury, while giving the right address and mentioning the action taken to treat the patient. They also urged those helping the patient to stay until the ambulance arrives.

An Abu Dhabi doctor explained that being exposed directly to the sun is not the only cause of heat stroke, as heat without the sun and humidity, can cause the green glass effect, leading to heat exhaustion.

“People must avoid wearing heavy clothes while exercising as it can cause problems because they are losing is just water and not fat,” said Dr. Mohammed Salem, who works for a private hospital. “Residents should avoid doing sports and outdoor activities between 9am to 6pm, and wear lightweight and light-coloured clothes to avoid heatstroke problems,” he added.