Friday, September 29, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 13, 1445 H
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When the going gets tough for ‘Men at Work’

The changing world of men

As long, hot summer days are here, today, I dedicate this space to highlight the aspects endangering the health and lives of ‘Men at Work’ who are toiling out there under the scorching sun.

While driving to work every day, I am often overwhelmed to see these workers at many construction sites on the way, having no choice but to bear the heat.

Summer means suffering for anyone working outside, along with risks of dehydration, heat stroke, and heart failure.

“We work in very high temperatures. This is the nature of our work. And yes, the scorching sun makes it more difficult, but I have no choice. I have to feed my family back home,” one of the thousands of construction workers told me.

Although summer has only just begun, temperatures have already topped 40 degrees Celsius.

Even a brief visit to any of the construction sites makes it amply evident that these men start work early in the morning, and by noon, they are worn out. It is indeed a hard life.

“We sometimes have to stop work just to be safe. We are lucky our supervisor understands the situation, but then work gets delayed,” another construction worker said.

The government has banned working outside in the hottest hours of the day, from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm.

While thanking the authorities for the gesture, many workers still say the ban should be extended by one or two more hours.

“Heat is always heat no matter the time of the day. Sometimes its so unbearable in the morning and in the evening too,” another contraction worker told me.

“But there is a question of finishing assigned work. We just cant stop work. We need to survive. We just have to take extra care while working,” he added.

Heat leads to headaches, fatigue, dizziness and loss of concentration. It may even lead to fainting, if not hydrated enough. Experts say some modifications in daily lifestyle can help mitigate the effects of scorching heat on the body. However, these outdoor workers have no choice.

High temperatures too can cause exhaustion, which result in reduced concentration, vigilance and alertness and consequently increase the risk of crashing.

While no one can control the outdoor temperature, we can make sure that we do all that we possibly can to stay safe and healthy as a hot spell can become unbearable. It is also important to prioritise the well-being and safety of individuals working in such conditions and provide suitable measures to minimise the risks associated with working under direct sunlight during summer in Oman.

Always say a kind word to put a smile on these workers’ faces. Until next time...

Few tips to stay healthy:

Working under direct sunlight during summer in Oman can have several consequences due to the extreme heat and intense sun exposure.

- To be safe during high temperatures, stay hydrated

- Wear cotton clothes while working out in the sun

- Avoid too cold water during and after working outside

- Seek medical attention if you do not feel well

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