Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DM launches Safe & Healthy Summer Campaign

Dubai Municipality on Wednesday launched a public awareness campaign to prevent heat related hazards this summer. The Safe and Healthy Summer campaign, which is being organized for the second consecutive year, will last until 4th July.

Inaugurating the activities of the campaign at the Dubai Municipality staff club Eng. Salem Bin Mesmar, Assistant Director General of the Municipality for Health, Safety and Environment Monitoring said the campaign aims at creating awareness among all sections of the society, especially workers, beach goers and visitors to the open areas about the heat exhaustion during summer period.

"The campaign will also promote cooperation between the public and private sectors to achieve the worker safety and health. It will also create awareness of the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations of the municipality with respect to the safety of workers," he said.

Redha Hassan Salman, Director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said the campaign, undertaken in co-operation with Bagason Middle East LLC, representative of HYDRALYTE Electrolyte replacement drink, USA, Al Ain Mineral Water and Western Union Financial Services will raise the worker awareness about the dangers of heat exhaustion as well as create awareness among the vulnerable sections of the society about the risk of heat exhaustion, in addition to encourage the adoption of best practices in work places during summer.

"We will advise the public on first aid measures to be taken if somebody collapses due to heat exhaustion, like taking the person to a cool shaded area, fanning and providing cool electrolyte drinks," he said.

The activities of the campaign will include lectures, seminars, film shows, safety and supervisors training in labour camps, work sites, shopping malls, bus stations and other public places, in addition to the Municipality offices.

"There is awareness about safety but a lack of awareness about health problems in construction and industrial companies. Most of the workers are not aware of their huge sweat loss, so don’t know by how much to replace it," said Rajendra Herwani, Managing Director, Bagason Middle East LLC, representative of HYDRALYTE Electrolyte replacement drink, USA.

"If temperature exceeds 40 degrees & humidity increases above 60%, a worker can lose up to 1.5 to 2 liter per hour. Huge sweat loss makes them severely dehydrated as a result heat related illnesses occur. They must drink 2 cups of water every half an hour and at least 2-3 times a day an electrolytes replacement drink (Low sodium) to maintain hydration. Higher sodium solution should be taken under medical supervision as regular intake can have side effects," he said.

"We have come together with this campaign to create health awareness amongst industries and construction workers. We have planned many activities for this 18- day campaign like safety seminars, training videos on work sites and labour camps and distributing educational heat stress posters and leaflets in various public places to create heat stress awareness," Herwani said.

“We are very happy to support ‘Safe and Healthy Summer’ initiative by Dubai Municipality, especially given Al Ain Mineral Water’s position that in extreme climates - like in the UAE - there is a very strong need to continually rehydrate with a minimum of 8 glasses per day to insure a healthy body,” said Fasahat Beg, General Manager, Al Ain Mineral Water.

"Western Union Money Transfer is delighted to continue its association with Dubai Municipality, in its new initiative of Safe & Healthy Summer. This initiative to educate residents of Dubai, especially the blue collared workers, on how to combat the dangers of extreme heat is consistent with Western Union's philosophy of being part of the everyday life of its customers. We welcome the initiative and wish it every success, "said Marc Aubry, Marketing Director (MEPA), Western Union Financial Services.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Obaid Bin Essa Bin Ahmed, Assistant Secretary General, Secretariat of UAE Municipalities. Eng. Raed Al Marzouqi, Head of Occupational Health and Safety Section gave a presentation on Heat Stress Perceptions (Rules and Regulations), Dr. Mohammed Mutawally, Occupational Health Doctor at Dubai Municipality Clinic talked about Heat Stress (Diagnosing-Prevention-Cure), while Clive Spencer, Safety Manager, Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises gave a lecture about working safely in hot environment, Rajendra Herwani, Managing Director, Bagason Middle East LLC, representative of HYDRALYTE Electrolyte replacement drink, USA talked about maintaining hydration

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