Wearable tech being trialled to prevent heat-related illness


Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has announced that the company is trialling wearable technology to prevent heat-related illness amongst industrial workers in the hot UAE summer.

This year, 50 volunteers working in EGA's potlines (a row of electrolytic cells used in the production of aluminum), which are amongst the hottest parts of the company's operations, are wearing devices to monitor critical health indicators, including core body temperature, heart rate, and sweating rate. Data is transmitted in real-time to supervisors and EGA's occupational health team, with alerts to variations of potential concern.

The technology is expected to further improve the detection of the earliest signs of heat-related illness and lead to earlier intervention.

Abdulnasser bin Kalban, the CEO of EGA, said, "We have focused on preventing heat-related illness each summer for many years. Through the commitment of all our people to this important effort, we have significantly reduced the incidence and severity of heat-related illness at EGA, and in 2020 we achieved zero cases.

"Wearable technology offers the prospect of zero cases every summer, and I am optimistic about this trial. While heat-related illness is a particular challenge working with industrial processes that generate heat, it is a hazard for people working outside across our country. I am looking forward to sharing the results of this trial widely and other lessons we have learned to the benefit of everyone contributing to the wellbeing of our society through outdoor work."

EGA's "Beat the Heat" programme is an intense, annual summer-long effort across operations, which starts with awareness programmes to build knowledge of heat-related illness and its early signs for individuals and those around them.

Employees undertake hydration tests before and during shifts, in addition to being required to take regular breaks and being given access to cooling showers. Cooling booths, drinking stations, icemakers, and portable air conditioning units in EGA's operational areas help employees keep cool. UV protection and heat rash prevention cream are also available to help keep people comfortable, in addition to reusable water bottles and access to electrolyte drinks.

More from Local

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.

  • The Agenda

    10:00am - 1:00pm

    Broadcasting every weekday, Georgia Tolley goes beyond the headlines to speak to government ministers, decision makers, analysts and local experts to find out how the news will impact those of us living in the UAE.


On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.