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Safety in the Heat Programme Improves Health and Safety Standards in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi
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04 December 2011

Abu Dhabi – 04 December 2011: The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulatory body of the health care sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, announced that 600 companies, employing over 800,000 workers at over 6,000 worksites benefited from the “Safety in the Heat” campaign in summer 2011 across the UAE with over 37,000 education leaflets, 13,000 posters and training manuals, DVD videos and other items distributed

The awareness campaign in 2011 was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, the Abu Dhabi EHS Centre and with the support of the Environmental Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) Sector Regulatory Authorities including the Department of Municipal Affairs, the Municipalities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Western region, Zonescorp, the Centre for Waste Management and others. 

The safety in the heat programme is aimed at increasing awareness of heat stress and prevention of heat illness amongst employers and workers and to decrease heat related illnesses in the emirate during the summer.

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Manager of Health Promotion and Surveillance at HAAD, said: “HAAD supports the government EHSMS initiative as an important means to improving work conditions in Abu Dhabi Emirate by implementing correct health and safety measures. The HAAD occupational health programs such as the safety in the heat programme which has been running for 3 years supports the EHSMS regulatory framework by raising awareness of important hazards and helping employers to comply with the law by providing them with free resources to increase awareness and education about the measures required to control and prevent occupational hazards such as heat stress and reduce risks to workers health and safety”. 

The safety in the heat materials have been developed to enable employers, health and safety professionals, supervisors and workers to understand the risks of heat stress and recognise the signs and symptoms of heat related illness as well as the precautions and control measures to be taken. The “Safety in the Heat” programme for summer 2011 distributed free training packs, multi-lingual DVD videos, and worker and supervisors pamphlets, posters in five different languages, and a special edition poster for fasting workers in Ramadan.

“Programmes such as this will not only decrease heat related illnesses but will also improve health and safety standards and ensure the welfare of our workers as an important objective of HAAD’s and the EHSMS initiative. We would not have achieved an ever increasing participation from companies this year without the collaboration and participation from government and private companies in the “Safety in the Heat” 2011 summer program,” Dr. Omniyat added.

Darren Joubert, Senior Advisor Occupational Health at HAAD, said: “the Safety in the Heat programme has grown from strength to strength and with the support of the EHSMS initiative and the various sector regulatory authorities it has been incorporated into the new version of the Abu Dhabi EHSMS regulatory framework to be released next year and will ensure that companies who have workers exposed to hot conditions recognise heat stress as an important risk factor that needs to be planned for, managed and controlled each summer in order to protect worker health and safety.

The “Safety in the Heat” programme materials are available online for free to all on www.haad-safe.ae to download and we encourage companies throughout the UAE and other GCC countries to take the opportunity to use the resources to raise awareness of this issue each summer.

-Ends-

About Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD):
The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) is the regulative body of the Healthcare Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and ensures excellence in Healthcare for the community by monitoring the health status of the population. HAAD defines the strategy for the health system, monitors and analyses the health status of the population and performance of the system. In addition, HAAD shapes the regulatory framework for the health system, inspects against regulations, enforce standards, and encourages adoption of world – class best practices and performance targets by all healthcare service providers in the Emirate. HAAD also drives programs to increase awareness and adoption of healthy living standards among the residents of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in addition to regulating scope of services, premiums and reimbursement rates of the health system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

For Media Enquiries:
Rami Adwan, Media Specialist, Health Authority - Abu Dhabi
Tel: +971 2 4193318 or email: radwan@haad.ae 

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