Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ministry issues occupational health guidelines for summer

4 June 2010, The Gulf Today

A new booklet of occupational guidelines has been released by the Ministry of Health (MoH), aimed at preventing labourers from heat-related risks at workplaces during the summer.
The pamphlet in three languages including Arabic, English and Urdu, has been issued to workers and employers with healthcare instructions and precautions to be adopted at work in the year’s most risky period, according to senior MoH official.
Dr Mahmood Fikri, Executive Director for Health Policies at the MoH, said the book outlines preventive measures from various health stresses and dangers due to the region’s aggressive temperature threat. The awareness material would help to boost a healthy working environment providing protection of workers across the UAE.
“The occupational health services defined in it include labourers’ health control, working environment control, educational, training and information guidance in healthcare, treatment and first-aid programmes in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor (MoL),” he added.
According to Dr Fikri, the booklet will assist employers to guarantee quality in occupational health services for their workers in construction, agricultural, industrial and other fields.
“As the labourers are frequently exposed to the scorching heat of the sun and other risk factors in their working environment, the guidelines emphasizes on the significance of medical tests, and verification of free sample tests of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS and Hepatitis through the initial medical examinations,” he elaborated.
“The booklet has defined types of periodical medical checkups for the labourers, preventive healthcare conditions at work places, tasks and responsibilities of company doctors, health standards connected to the first-aid fund, and changes of medical tests in accordance with the nature and requirements of each occupation and profession”, he pointed out.
Dr Fikr noted, “At least 10 training sessions on preventing of communicable and chronic diseases have been conducted by the MoH last year for 252 trainees from 38 companies and factories on implementing health safety measures at the worksites. Three training courses have been organised since the beginning of this year for 78 trainees from 17 organisations and industries.”
“Professional training programmes for companies are also conducted throughout the year, focused on first-aid treatment, cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, bleeding, burns or fractures, eye injuries, and poisoning, emergency aid, heat stress and sun stroke,” he explained.
“An intensive training session will be held on June.8 and 9 in Al Baraha Hospital in Dubai for a group of 16 trainees of four establishments,” added Dr Fikri.

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