As summer continues to grow in Pakistan, many areas are prone to heatwaves making hindrance in many businesses’ work. This increases the level of heat strokes and heat exhaustion which is not only a problem here but has affected many different parts of the world. In summer 2018 Tokyo prefecture recorded the highest number of emergency transports ( up to seven to eight thousand) of patients suffering from heat strokes.
In Pakistan, people, especially the Managers, need to take safety precautions against heat waves to ensure health and safety of their labour. We believe that the labours are used to of these extreme environment conditions yet we fail to recognise a vast difference in their work efficiencies at this extreme time which is not a problem for them but to us.
The major deficiency is the lack of realisation factor of how harsh the weather can be on the employees. To ensure their safety, the managers should provide a concise education and training course to the whole staff which should be easy to follow by briefing them about how to use digital thermometers to effectively monitor the temperature of the employees to ensure their health safety. This can be done at certain intervals such as on couple hour basis.
In areas like Sindh and Balochistan are facing extreme weather changes permanently so there should be proper monitoring criteria where the company’s supervisors should know the broad range of symptoms that can result from exposure to high temperatures. This can be done by a continuous collaboration with the weather forecasts so that the supervisors can be aware of the heat waves before they have to deal with it.
This would make their planning more efficient by informing their labours via mail or SMS, whether they are plumbing contractors or even electricians/ electrical contractors to carry out their safety protocols. Whereas talking about the construction industries’ work in which the labours have to work during sun exposure, many essential steps need to be taken into consideration.
There should be strict precautions about giving breaks from time to time in a shady area. This can be done by dividing the work time into two sections with a half an hour break. It would not result in loss to the company as providing rest to the workers would boost up their energy to work even more properly. Or else another solution can be if for instance labours are paid for four hours work, their site work duration would be of four and a half hour where the half-hour would be the break.
During heat, water plays an essential part in maintaining the glucose level of the body and minimising the chances of unconsciousness. Hydration stations should be set up near the work base or break rooms to keep the workers hydrated. The workers should be given proper protocols which can be followed not only during heat waves but in normal hot temperature days, too like wearing light, loose-fitting clothing. They should be acknowledged about the daily heat index as stated above via mail or SMS to carry out their safety procedures.
Lastly, special protocols should be associated with old aged workers as their immunity system is not as higher as the younger ones. Lastly, if in case someone is dealing with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, before calling your nearest hospitals certain measures can be taken. Firstly, one should get out of the heated place quickly and rest in a shady or cool place. Lie down and elevate your legs to get the blood flowing in your heart. Apply cool towels and make sure to keep yourself hydrated. Then, a medic supervisor can be referenced to take hold of the situation