Under the slogan of “Safety in Heat”, Abu Dhabi City Municipality launched a comprehensive campaign aimed at raising awareness of companies and workers about the importance of implementing the Midday Working Ban law and negative health effects of heat stress. The campaign is intended to boost the awareness of those in charge of construction sites and the environment, health and safety and their role in monitoring the compliance with the workers’ safety requirements and protecting them from injuries resulting from exposure to direct sunlight or heat stress due to high temperatures and humidity.
The campaign is in line with the endeavours of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities – Abu Dhabi City Municipality to ensure the highest quality of life and sustainable environment for residents of Abu Dhabi city. The Municipality’s Environment, Health and Safety Division implements the occupational safety & health laws at all construction sites and projects and seeks to bring them in line with the world-best practices. The civic body also strives to ensure workers’ safety and security to reduce accidents & injuries at construction sites by conducting a series of procedures and periodic inspection campaigns targeting those sites.
The midday working ban is in line with the Municipality’s strategy aims to provide a safe working environment for workers at construction sites and echoes its mission to provide the highest & most effective municipal services. The decision also renews the keenness of entities to safeguard the lives and health of employees and apply the highest humanitarian and health standards to provide protection from direct sunlight for outdoor workers.
The campaign included a workshop held at the Municipality’s headquarters to raise the awareness of the construction sector and stress the importance of taking proper actions and learning the requirements of the heat stress management program to protect workers from heat and its dangerous health consequences. The campaign is part of the ‘Midday Work Ban’ law issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation that bans all employers from asking workers to perform any outdoor activities from 12:30 pm until 3:00 pm. This law is applied for three months from June 15 to September 15.
Through this awareness campaign and other various programs, the Municipality intends to sensitise workers who work under the sunlight, especially in summer. Workers may be exposed to many diseases and occupational injuries such as heat stress, which may cause sunstroke, heat exhaustion, fainting, cramps and rashes, as well as excessive face or hands sweating. Workers who are more susceptible to heat stress are outdoor workers such as construction workers, cleaners, and agricultural workers.
Basing on the above, employers must provide the necessary training and awareness to their employees to understand the adverse effect of heat stress, and how to prevent it. The Municipality underscored the importance of the campaign to provide education & training for employees to help them understand the effects of heat stress, how to prevent it and make it clear for employers to take all necessary measures in this regard, such as providing rest periods in shaded places and a permanent supply of drinking water.
Through its summer plan, the Municipality is striving to provide the necessary education to the entities operating at building and construction sector in Abu Dhabi city, where workers perform duties in high-temperature areas. The Municipality also helps and guides employers to understand and implement the heat stress management program and take health supervision measures to protect workers from exposure to sunlight. It also seeks to offer educational support for occupational safety and health practitioners, supervisors and workers; which will set various responsibilities & procedures required to combat and avoid high temperature-related diseases. These procedures are part of the heat stress management program.
Out of its keenness to ensure the safety of workers, the Municipality calls upon all companies and construction sites to abide by the Midday Work Ban under direct sunlight. Workers’ safety and health is a shared responsibility reflecting our commitment to the authentic values of the UAE under the vision and guidance of our wise leadership, which attaches great attention and care to all community segments to ensure public safety.