Saudi Workers: How to Survive Extreme Heat

In addition to homesickness which is commonly felt by Filipinos working abroad, additional challenge confronts OFWs who work in the Middle East: extreme heat.

Although the Philippines is itself generally a hot and humid country, the definition of hot weather gets a new meaning when one experience the scorching heat of the Middle East. Heat is a serious matter since it affects ones health and capacity to work; in fact, extreme heat can lead to death. No wonder companies have made adjustments to address this issue.

In Saudi Arabia, hottest months are from June to August. Daily temperatures of 43 C (110 F) are a common observation and nights do not bring much relief as well as the breeze which only blows hot air as though you are facing a hot interior in your oven. So since workers need to deal with this climate condition, there are things that they can do to mitigate the struggle and survive in this country.

1. Keep hydrated.
Intense heat induces sweating and excessive sweating can deplete the human body of salt and minerals rapidly and cause dehydration. Drinking plenty of water and other recommended liquids help keep body hydrated and away from possible ailments like heat stroke while maintaining appropriate body temperature.

2. Dress correctly.
It is not necessarily right to dress lightly to minimize sweating; the searing heat of the surrounding can also be harmful if you dress very lightly or go naked. A good choice of clothing would be cotton fabric with light colors to help absorb sweat and maintain constant oxygen supply to the skin. Keeping clothing loose also increase comfort levels and prevent aggravating skin problems. For construction workers, it could mean extra protective gear such as hats, safety gloves, boots and other accessories to insulate themselves from intense heat as they work in the open.

3. Eat properly.
Eating the right food helps ease off heat. Avoid eating heavy, oily food and instead pick fruits and vegetables rich in juice. Eating smaller portions more frequently helps constantly maintain cooler body temperature instead of consuming large portions on fewer occasions.

4. Observe the right time to work
Construction workers must observe the right time to be in the field and practice taking breaks to avoid prolonged exposure to intense temperatures in the work place. Do not work during the hottest hour of the day. If you feel tired and stressed, take a rest in a shaded area; doing so makes you more productive even if you work in less amount of time.




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