Emerson deploys heat-beating wearable for workers

Pilot provides outdoor workers with freezer-pack neck coolers to provide relief from the heat

Labourers on the Al Zahia project site in Sharjah try on the Emerson MEA neck coolers, manufactured by Freezemate.
Labourers on the Al Zahia project site in Sharjah try on the Emerson MEA neck coolers, manufactured by Freezemate.

Emerson MEA is providing more than 1,100 labourers with freezer-pack neck coolers as part of a pilot project to help ward off the heat, working with Majid Al Futtaim Properties on the Al Zahia project and with World Security in Jebel Ali.

Manufactured by Freezemate as part of a collaboration with Emerson, the neck cooler is designed to keep workers cool even as they perform their day-to-day tasks.

Once removed from the freezer and wrapped around the neck, the relatively unobtrusive wearable immediately reduces the wearer’s core temperature.

In the UAE, even with the mandatory summer break from 12:30pm to 3:00pm for construction workers, labourers often encounter temperatures in excess of 40°C.

The cooled gel packs are therefore engineered to last for approximately one hour under temperatures of up to 45°C, while the towel enclosing the gel packs maximises the effectiveness of the cooling and helps to absorb sweat.

On the Al Zahia project, Emerson MEA also installed a solar-powered freezer to cool the gel packs – making the neck coolers carbon-neutral in operation.

The project comes after the world’s hottest month on record in July 2016, according to both experts at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the World Meteorological Organization.

Cooling wearables are just one of the way companies in the GCC are working to counter the heat and make conditions more bearable for outdoor workers. Another example is the use of ambient outdoor air-conditioning units, such as those marketed by Portacool, which will be on display at The Big 5.

Dalia Kaki, marketing manager for Emerson MEA, commented: “Emerson continually strives to make a positive impact on the communities in which they serve. This initiative is a small gesture to help ease conditions for the local workforce and aligns with our mission to enhance human comfort.”

Emerson is now looking to engage with other construction sites and business parks across the city to help make a difference to the wider audience of those working outside.

Al Zahia, Sharjah’s first integrated, master planned community, is owned by Sharjah Holding and managed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties, a Dubai-based real estate developer.

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