dubal on target again to achieve zero lost working days due to heat-related illnesses
Aluminium giant’s Beat the Heat campaign has delivered excellent results since 2005
Demonstrating the extent to which Dubai Aluminium Company Limited (“DUBAL”) cares for the health and well-being of its employees, the company has actively pursued a quest to reduce the number of lost working days due to heat rash and heat stress cases within its workforce since the start of the new millennium. The initiative has gained additional emphasis since 2005, evolving into a dedicated “Beat the Heat” campaign that has delivered excellent results. Zero lost working days as a result of heat rash were recorded in 2007 – a first in the company’s history – and again in 2008; while no working days were lost due to heat stress for three consecutive years (2006, 2007 and 2008).
“Beat the Heat is essentially an employee awareness campaign that highlights the effects of heat on individuals,” says Abdulla J M Kalban (President & CEO). “It is targeted at newly recruited employees, both at DUBAL and Emirates Aluminium (“EMAL”) and also serves as a reminder to existing employees on how to prepare for the elevated temperatures of summer.”
Each year, the DUBAL Beat the Heat campaign comprises a series of presentation by members of the Occupational Hygiene & Health (“OHH”) Department to all operating areas that experience high temperatures during summer, namely the Potlines, Casthouse and Desalination Plant. Some 4,475 people have been reached in this way since summer 2007. These presentations focus on the following:
• Identifying all heat-related illness symptoms;
• How to avoid heat rash and heat stress disorders by proper hygiene practices;
• Tips on preferred food types for the summer months;
• The importance of drinking electrolyte drinks to avoid dehydration;
• Wearing t -shirts and long johns; and
• Early reporting of any heat disorder.
In addition, the campaign entails the provision of ample water supplies and hydration drinks; heat rash prevention creams; and clothing items that reduce the effects of heat (specifically excessive perspiration).
“The 2009 Beat the Heat Campaign, which started in April this year, aims to improve further on these results of previous years,” continue Kalban. “As before, hydration is a sub-theme of the campaign. Accordingly, hydration drinks have been made available in the plant 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. These drinks are chilled and placed in 20-litre igloos to stay cold, then distributed and collected in the designated areas. In addition, employees have been provided with cool areas in which to rest and supplied with suitable protective clothing. Our OHH Department also monitors the daily temperatures continuously and is constantly on the look-out for any signs or symptoms of negative effects. Judging by the results to date, Beat the Heat will once again deliver record results in 2009.”