'Cooling' hats due for Qatar construction workers
Concern for the many migrant workers employed on Qatar's construction sites, has led to an innovate solar powered 'cooling' hat
Worker welfare takes on a whole new level for construction workers in Qatar.
Qatar’s unrelenting heat has been the subject of many news stories, as concerns are raised around worker welfare during the country's relentless summer heat.
In an effort to bring down body temperature while working on the 2022 World Cup stadiums, Reuters reports that migrant workers are to be given ‘cooling’ hard hats.
This measure is also seen to potentially reduce the risk of heat stroke, tournament organisers said.
The headgear has been designed by scientists at Qatar University and runs on solar-power.
How it works is through a fan located on the top of the hardhat that blows air over a cold pack.
The cooled air is then blown over the worker’s face reducing skin temperature by up to 10 degrees centigrade, said Saud Ghani, an engineering professor at Qatar University.
“Our objective was to reduce heat stress and heat strokes for workers in Qatar and the region,” Reuters reports Ghani saying.
This innovation comes in light of the charges by human rights groups of labour abuse over the approximately 5,100 construction workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh that are in Qatar to construct the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
While Doha’s temperatures in summer can reach 50 degrees and a ban on outdoor work for several hours a day during the hottest months of the year is imposed, many workers nevertheless suffer heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Incidents of deaths on the construction sites have filled news headlines and in 2015, throughout Qatar, around 260 migrant workers from India died, according to figures from the Indian embassy in Doha seen by Reuters.
According to an official from Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the hardhats can provide cooling for up to four hours and will be introduced at all World Cup construction sites by summer 2017.