Ministry of Public Health organises workshops on heat stress prevention

Doha: The Ministry of Public Health has organized several virtual workshops on heat stress prevention, attended by 400 occupational health and safety specialists and supervisors, doctors, nurses and health intellectuals.
The workshops are part of the heat stress programme, which was launched in early May under the theme "Protect yourself", aiming to raise awareness among companies' occupational health and safety specialists about the importance of adopting measures to protect workers from heat stress injuries in consistent with the preventive measures adopted by Qatar to protect workers, in view of the fact that heat stress is one of the factors affecting the lives and safety of workers on open working spaces during the summer.
Dr Mohammed Ali Al Hajjaj, Head of Occupational Health at the Ministry of Public Health, said the ministry attaches great importance to the health and safety of workers as it has been included in the priorities of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 and Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 to ensure workplaces free of diseases, injuries and deaths caused by work. 
He stressed the important role of employers in providing their employees with the necessary awareness and training on heat stress, prevention and the necessary first aid. "Employers must also take action to protect workers from heat stress, such as setting aside rest breaks, providing water and shaded places," Al Hajjaj added.
Dr Al Hajjaj pointed out that the decision of the Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs No. (17) of 2021, on the necessary precautions to protect workers from heat stress in open work sites during the summer, specified the working hours for works performed under the sun or open workplaces and in non-shaded and non-ventilated workplaces, from 1 June to 15 September every year, so that work is prohibited from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
He stressed the importance of applying "adjustment at work" by introducing the worker to work in hot places gradually so that the percentage of work does not exceed 20% of the daily work during high temperature (outside the prohibited work times) in order to improve the ability of the individual to withstand the temperature, whether new or trained workers. The percentage of adjustment is raised gradually until the worker gets used to working in hot conditions.
Several specialists from the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and Medical Services in Qatar Petroleum attended the workshops which discussed a number of key topics on heat stress and its symptoms, prevention, first aid, measuring air temperature and humidity in the workplace, in addition to the importance of protecting the eyes from sunlight. The workshops also included several awareness films.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Public Health is intensifying awareness about heat stress in order to reduce injuries caused by high temperatures among workers to protect them from diseases and injuries at work, through the issuance of guidelines, recommendations and other awareness materials on heat stress in different languages published on the website of the Ministry of Public Health and social media to promote awareness among the largest segment of society, particularly the worker segment . A team from the Ministry of Public Health is also conducting field awareness campaigns at work sites to raise awareness among workers about heat stress and how to prevent it.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar