United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, this week shared its decades of experience working safely in high temperatures with Abu Dhabi industrial companies at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi as the hot summer weather begins.
Heat-related illness is a significant threat to people working outdoors in the UAE during the summer and has the potential to be fatal if not treated at an early stage.
Aluminium smelting is a continuous process, and EGA’s industrial facilities cannot be turned off no matter how high the thermometer rises in the UAE’s summer. EGA has developed world-class best practices to ensure worker safety in hot conditions.
EGA’s heat stress prevention programme includes training and awareness, provision of appropriate facilities for cooling down and hydrating, health monitoring, and many other controls. The programme is revised at the end of the summer to ensure continuous improvement.
EGA provides resting areas, cooling booths, icemakers and portable air conditioning units in production areas to help the employees stay cool. UV protection, heat rash prevention creams, reusable water bottles for continuous water supply and electrolyte drinks are also provided. EGA employees are regularly trained about heat-related risks and preventive measures - last year EGA’s Health team conducted more than 100 staff education sessions on working safely in the heat for EGA employees and contractors.
EGA also conducts regular testing of its employees’ hydration levels. Last summer, over 17,000 hydration tests were done to ensure staff wellbeing while working in hot weather.
EGA recorded just three minor cases of heat related illness last summer. Due to early reporting and intervention, it was quickly and effectively managed by EGA Medical Services with first aid treatment.
On average 4,000 people work in operational areas at EGA each day during the hot months. EGA’s goal is zero heat related illness cases.
EGA and KIZAD hosted health and safety professionals, managers and business owners at EGA’s Al Taweelah head office to share experience.
Salman Abdulla, Executive Vice President Health, Safety, Security, Environment, Quality and Business Transformation at EGA, said: “The continuous nature of our operations means that EGA has spent many years honing our approach to working safely in hot conditions. We can never be complacent, but we believe that we have significant experience and success to share with others on managing this important national issue. This will help us all reach our collective goal, which is ensuring that people doing important work for our country outside during hot weather can do so safely and healthily.”
Abdullah Al Hameli, Executive Vice President – Corporate Support at Abu Dhabi Ports, said, ”Fostering a strong health, safety, and environment culture is a crucial priority for Abu Dhabi Ports and its subsidiaries. I’m confident that our partnership with EGA will help promote knowledge sharing in this important field and ensure that employees across different industries are working safely at Abu Dhabi’s first integrated trade, logistics, industrial and free zone, KIZAD”.