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Portacool asserts heat stress threat in the region

US portable cooler firm re-emphasises the risks of heat stress and the relative ease of mitigation

Evaporative coolers are designed to provide areas of refuge from the heat that can reduce the number of heat related accidents.
Evaporative coolers are designed to provide areas of refuge from the heat that can reduce the number of heat related accidents.

Heat stress over the summer remains one of the biggest concerns for both health and safety and productivity for construction and other outdoor industries in the UAE and the Gulf.

This year, an estimated half million construction workers in Dubai will benefit from the Ministry of Labour’s three-month mandatory midday break regulation – now in its 11th consecutive year – but workers on break but still exposed to the heat remain at an elevated risk of heat stress.

To accompany the government’s midday break initiative and assist productivity levels, many contractors are now working with Portacool to provide cooling stations for labourers on various construction sites in the form of portable evaporative cooling units set up in sheltered areas on site.

“We know that heat related ailments can severely impact workers’ health, as well as their focus and overall productivity,” said Bob Mangiaforte, VP sales at Portacool.

“Portacool evaporative coolers are designed for spot cooling – areas of refuge that offer a space to cool down and which can reduce the number of heat related accidents – giving temporary relief where AC might not be practical.”

Heading towards 2020, summer temperatures are only expected to rise, coupled with an expected annual growth trend of 6.9% in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) construction industry – presenting a scenario of growing risk for labourers working in the midday heat.

“The number of significant projects in the pipeline indicates that the UAE’s construction market is not going to slow down any time soon, and in order to keep staff output high, industry leaders must take small but important steps to keep the construction force healthy,” Mangiaforte added.

Headquartered in Texas since 1990, Portacool provides cooling units that portable and work off a standard 110-V plug that makes them readily implementable in almost any hard-to-cool spaces.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019