In a sign that more construction companies in Qatar are giving greater thought to their employees’ welfare, sales of high-tech cooling gear for outdoor workers are increasing exponentially, a local firm has said.
TechNiche International sells products that help workers combat the onset of heat-related stress and illnesses during the summer months.
They include wrist and headbands that are soaked in water for a couple of minutes and can cool the wearer for up to four hours, as well as inserts that are filled with a special liquid that stays cold when slipped into one’s pocket.
Paul Gilligan, TechNiche’s general manager for the Middle East, said his company has grown in Qatar from a negligible amount of sales in 2013 to revenues in the seven digits last year.
He told Doha News that he expects this year’s sales to increase even further as employers learn about the technology:
“Qatar is a great example of a country looking to do the right thing. The rest of the world needs to recognize that this takes time. Worker welfare is a high priority and I see improvements all the time.”
Even though the temperature in Doha is forecast to reach a high of 44 degrees Celsius this weekend, the country’s midday work ban won’t take effect for another three weeks.
And with Qatar racing to complete construction of countless buildings, roads and other infrastructure, even some workers concede that there are limited ways of warding off the region’s intense summer heat.
Allaudin, a 26-year-old Nepalese laborer who works as a brick and pipe-layer for Al Hajjaj Ltd., said:
“Our companies tries to do the best, but there’s only so much you can do in this heat. We get cold water from a nearby mosque and are provided with glucose to keep our energy up, but that’s about it. When it gets too hot, we take breaks and sit in the shade,” he told Doha News.
Allaudin’s current shifts runs from 5am to 3pm. That will soon change, as the government’s summer midday work ban – which prohibits outdoor work between 11:30am and 3pm – comes into effect June 15 and lasts until the end of August.
During this time, Allaudin said he and his colleagues will work from 3am to 11am, after which they are free to spend the day indoors.
Other workers who spoke to Doha News said that the heat brings other work-related issues such as overheated asphalt on roads.
“When we do pipe work underneath the roads, we have to then fix the roads. We lay the asphalt, but it gets so hot … It sticks to our boots, and we have to be careful not to touch it,” said another worker from Al Hajjaj Ltd.
Workers at a construction site overseen by Construction Development Contracting and Trading in Al Sadd said that they had a better time dealing with the heat.
“Our company has a cooler on-site, so we get cold water all day,” said a Nepalese worker who had been with the company for four years.
“We work in the building, so we have shade most of the time, which is good. Otherwise, we just take short breaks or cover our faces and necks with scarves to protect ourselves from the heat. The company can’t do anything else. The weather is hot. What can we do?”
There really is so much a company or one can do. Staying hydrated, using the buddy system, good work-rest cycles, proper shaded rest areas with chilled water and fans, adjustments to work hours, and a bit of lenience on productivity can go a long way.
S L A V E R Y ……cannot be spelled any other way.
Yes, because that’s the proper way of dealing with heat stress, screaming Slavery.
Staying hydrated during Ramadan on a construction site is not that easy I guess. Are the workers allowed to drink on their construction sites during Ramadan?
Ramadan would be very easy on the construction workers if they could sleep all day, and then they ate and drank so much at night that the ambulances had to rush them to Hamad Hospital
Not unless their masters say they can I guess.
Techniche Heatstress management cooling wear has a vast range of cooling products for individuals & employers wanting to stay cool and comfortable in summers. Whether you are working outdoors or engaging in outdoor sports and activities. Techniche has a solution for keeping you cool at work,play and rest.
Is this article a Technicne paid adverisement or a free one? C’mon DN, you don’t have to name the company that sells all that wonderful stuff that helps you beat the summer heat.
For an interesting research project exploring this hot topic see: http://www.qatar.vcu.edu/mfa/thesis-projects/not-another-space-suit-fusing-technology-indigenous-solutions-to-facilitate
I’m sure productivity suffers too, and in the end it’s just fighting a losing battle with diminishing returns. Anyone in construction? I’m aware there are bans for working in the night, are those still on the cards and applicable broadly to the entire country? What I’m getting to, is the idea of working later / earlier between sunset and sunrise, at least in some areas on some sites, perhaps where the noise is less of a factor; although it’s great that noise pollution somehow has rights over air pollution
Heat Stress management cooling products & solutions for Construction, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Sports, Bikers. Techniche cooling products are exclusively available at JMS Qatar.
Do you have free samples?
Deleting for advertising. Perhaps you can just link people to your website and tell them a bit more about your cooling tech?
I think Qatar lost his moses
The Techniche HyperKewl cooling technology mentioned above is very simple and cools on the same principle as human body i.e. through evaporation, when our sweat evaporates it cools us down.
The HyperKewl garments ( Vests,Jackets, Neck Bands, Wris Wraps, Neck coolers etc) combine specialized fabrics and fibers which absorb,store and release water within the multi-layered structure. Water is “released” through evaporation, energy is consumed, and a cooling effect is created. To know more visit http://www.techniche-intl.qa