Campaign to tackle heat stroke launched
Manama, July 15, 2010
A nationwide campaign to tackle heat stroke in Bahrain has been launched.
It has been prompted by a large number of cases last year and will specifically target labourers at worksites.
Instructors who share the same language as labourers will visit them on the job to educate them on the dangers of the heat and how to protect themselves, while medical teams will examine workers for signs of dehydration.
Record numbers of heat stroke cases were reported last year, despite an annual midday ban on outdoor work during the hottest months of July and August.
However, the ban is only enforced between midday and 4pm, which means labourers and other outdoor workers still have to sweat it out in the mornings and evenings.
The new heat stroke campaign was launched yesterday by the Supreme Committee of Occupational Health and Safety and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU).
It is going ahead under the patronage of Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Jamil Humaidan, who said it would complement the midday ban on outdoor work during summer.
Bahrain Occupational Health and Safety Society general secretary Dr Maha Al Shehab said it was vital to teach outdoor workers how to prevent heat-related diseases and spot the symptoms of heat stroke early.
'The aim is to raise awareness of businessmen and labourers of the importance of preventing summer diseases at worksites,' she added.
In addition to site visits, two workshops are being organised to educate labourers on how to protect themselves against the heat.
They will take place on July 22 and August 10 at the Bapco Club, Awali, from 10am.
'Each workshop will accommodate 200 people, so seats are limited,' said Dr Al Shehab.
'This means companies need to co-ordinate with us to get seats.'
In a year that Bahrain recorded its hottest ever day in June, she stressed the importance of companies providing air-conditioned rest areas and a first-aid room for emergencies.
'Water and drinks should be always available at the worksite for labourers,' added Dr Al Shehab.
'There is also a special gear that labourers can wear to save them from getting dehydrated.'
GFBTU secretary-general Sayed Salman Al Mahfoodh also called on companies to follow the law and protect the rights of their employees.
'We will keep calling to protect the rights of all labourers and ensure their safety,' he said.
'We call upon businessmen to protect their labourers and ensure their safety at the worksite and in their homes.'-TradeArabia News Service