EGA hits target of zero heat-related illnesses this summer, showing key hazard for outdoor workers in region can be overcome
United Arab Emirates, 31 October 2022: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today announced the company achieved its target of zero cases of heat-related illness amongst employees and contractors working outside this summer.
EGA’s success points the way to overcoming a key hazard for outdoor workers across the region. Working safely in hot conditions is also becoming an increasing concern in other parts of the world due to climate change.
Heat-related illness can be fatal if left untreated. EGA’s industrial processes generate further heat and must operate continuously, meaning workers are on shift around the clock every day of the year.
EGA‘s “Beat the Heat” programme is an intense, summer-long effort across the company’s operations. Employees are trained to detect the early signs of heat stress in themselves and others. They undertake hydration tests before and during shifts, in addition to being encouraged to take regular breaks and cooling showers. Cooling booths, drinking stations, icemakers, and portable air conditioning units in EGA production areas help employees keep cool. UV protection and heat rash prevention cream are also available to help keep people comfortable in addition to reusable water bottles and access to electrolyte drinks.
This summer, volunteers at EGA trialled wearable technology to further improve the early detection of heat stress. The technology is similar to that used by elite sportspeople and monitors heart rates and other health indicators in real time, alerting both the wearer and safety teams to any potential concern and enabling swifter intervention.
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “EGA operates high temperature processes in a very hot region, putting us firmly on the global frontline of addressing the very real and growing industrial hazard of heat-related illness. We have made great progress over several decades, and have lessons relevant for the many companies facing this issue. One key lesson is that working safely in hot conditions requires the focus of everyone in the company, and I am proud of our people for achieving zero heat-related illnesses this summer.”
EGA has achieved zero recordable cases of heat-related illness for an entire summer only once before, in 2019. Last year, EGA recorded two cases of heat-related illness requiring treatment at the company’s on-site medical centres. In both cases, the employees received rehydration via intravenous drips and fully-recovered within hours.