Summer temperatures in the UAE are extreme. We’re doing what we can to make the days more comfortable for our outdoor workers – from chilled water and sunglasses to tips on managing heat stress. Not to mention free ice creams…
With temperatures topping 45°C, the summer heat in the UAE can be punishing. Employees working outdoors in our ports at Jebel Ali, Hamriya, Mina Rashid and Fujairah can’t avoid the heat. But we’re committed to making sure it doesn’t endanger them and third party labourers in our ports, and to making working conditions as bearable as possible.
We’ve distributed hand towels, sunglasses and arm sleeves to all outdoor workers. From May to September, each employee is given special hydrating drink every shift, and we make sure there’s always plenty of cold water. Workers also take more frequent breaks.
We also celebrated for the first time in 2015, a one day “Ice Cream Day”, where over 8,000 scoops of ice cream were distributed to employees in all ports and every shift.
A number of initiatives have raised awareness of the importance of keeping hydrated and how to avoid and respond to heat-related conditions. These include posters and banners prominently displayed around the premises, PowerPoint presentations run on a loop during meal times, emails and training talks.
We’re constantly seeking new ways to improve. Recent innovations include air-conditioned bus stops, fans under cranes, and more shaded spaces and rest areas. We’re also looking at possible new materials to make uniforms cooler.
When we started the programme, awareness of dehydration and the hazards of sun and heat exposure was low. That’s improved a lot, and workers are safer as a result.
The summer heat in the UAE is never going to go away – but we’re helping our employees to manage it.