United Arab Emirates, 3 October 2023: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, announced today the company achieved zero heat-related illnesses for the second summer in a row.
Heat-related illness is a hazard for anyone working outside in the UAE summer, and can be fatal if left untreated. EGA’s industrial processes generate additional heat, and must operate around the clock every day of the year.
EGA has developed its system to combat heat-related illness over more than a decade. The company's annual ‘Beat the Heat’ programme is a comprehensive, summer-long effort across all EGA’s operations. Employees are trained to recognise early signs of heat stress in themselves and their colleagues, and are empowered and equipped to take action.
Since last year, EGA has also trialled wearable technology to detect the early signs of heat stress even before they can be felt. EGA extended the wearable technology trial to 350 employee volunteers this summer, from 50 in the summer of 2022.
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: 'Heat-related illness threatens the health of anyone working outside during our summers. EGA’s success in combating it is relevant for all companies with outdoor workers in the UAE and, with climate change, increasingly in other global regions. The good news is that heat-related illness is entirely preventable, even in the extreme temperatures we see in the UAE every year.'
The wearable technology EGA is trialling was developed by an American company, Kenzen, and is similar to devices used by elite athletes. The technology continuously monitors core body temperature, heart rate, activity levels, and other vital indicators in real-time, alerting both wearers and EGA's safety team.
The ‘Beat the Heat’ campaign includes hydration tests before and during shifts, regular breaks, cooling showers, and the provision of cooling booths, drinking stations, icemakers, and portable air conditioning units in EGA production areas to help employees and contractors stay cool and comfortable during their shifts.
EGA achieved previously achieved zero heat-related illnesses in 2020 and 2022. In 2021 there were two cases of heat-related illness at EGA requiring treatment at the company’s on-site medical centres. In both cases, the employees received rehydration via intravenous drips and fully-recovered within hours.