OHS Canada Magazine

Emirates Global Aluminium expands use of wearable technology platform to monitor workers’ temperatures

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August 10, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety

Photo: Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA)

Emirates Global Aluminium, an industrial company based in the United Arab Emirates, has expanded the use of Kenzen, a wearable technology platform, to 350 employee volunteers to ‘Beat the Heat’ this summer.

Heat-related illness is a hazard for anyone working outside in the UAE summer, and can be fatal if left untreated, it said. It is, however, preventable. EGA has focused for more than a decade on eliminating heat-related illness every summer.

Kenzen’s wearable technology offers the potential to protect outdoor workers by continuously reporting core body temperature, heart rate, activity and other body indicators in real time allowing both the wearer and EGA’s safety team to detect heat strain in the body before the early signs can be felt. EGA used wearable devices for the first time in a trial of 50 volunteers last summer.

Despite industrial processes that generate further heat, and which must run and be tended around the clock, EGA achieved zero heat-related illnesses in 2019 and 2022. In 2021, EGA recorded two cases of heat-related illness 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.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “Heat-related illness is a serious threat to health and even life in our region, and increasingly around the world. Our work has shown that heat-related illness is entirely preventable, even in challenging industrial environments like ours. Wearable technology offers the potential to protect people even more, and I am looking forward to the results of the wider trial we are conducting this summer.”

EGA‘s ‘Beat the Heat’ programme is an intense, summer-long effort across the company’s operations. Employees are trained to detect the early signs of heat stress in themselves and others. EGA conducts hydration tests before and during shifts, and employees are encouraged to take regular breaks and cooling showers. Cooling booths, drinking stations, icemakers, and portable air conditioning units in EGA production areas help keep people cool.

Kyle Hubregtse, CEO of Kenzen, shared his thoughts on the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to support Emirates Global Aluminium in their mission to prioritise employee health and safety and contribute to cutting-edge research on thermal physiology. By combining Kenzen’s wearable technology with EGA’s dedication to workforce well-being, we are setting new benchmarks in heat stress management and advancing the frontiers of occupational health.”


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