- Title: Qatar World Cup construction workers to get 'cooling' hats
- Date: 29th December 2016
- Summary: QATAR (DECEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) HELMET TESTING MACHINE / RESEARCHERS TALKING MECHANICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT, ABDULLAH IBRAHIM AL-IBRAHIMI (RIGHT), TALKING TO RESEARCHER IBRAHIMI HOLDING INNER PART OF THE HELMET IBRAHIMI AND RESEARCHER DISCUSSING HELMETS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MECHANICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT ABDULLAH IBRAHIM AL-IBRAHIMI, SAYING: "We studied the working environment of workers and we noticed that the temperature of their safety helmet is too high during work. The head is an important body organ. Any increase in its temperature might cause harm to workers and affect their productivity. We thought of launching a project to serve the workers and provide a safe environment for them where they can work comfortably and without harming their bodies. That was the motivation behind the solar-powered cooling helmet." IBRAHIMI PUTTING THE HELMET IN A HEAT CHAMBER IBRAHIMI ADJUSTING HELMET ON AN ARTIFICIAL HEAD IBRAHIMI CLOSING THE HEAT CHAMBER HELMET IN HEAT CHAMBER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MECHANICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT, ABDULLAH IBRAHIM AL-IBRAHIMI, SAYING: "The helmet went through several tests. We tried different colours and then settled on white because it diffused more sun rays than other colours and didn't absorb heat as much. We tested the white colour and we were able to reach a temperature of 25 to 26 degrees with the helmet worn by the worker." VARIOUS OF RESEARCHER ADJUSTING TESTING MACHINE PROFESSOR AT THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, QATAR UNIVERSITY, SAUD GHANI, COMPARING HEAT DIAGRAMS DIAGRAMS GHANI SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROFESSOR AT COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, QATAR UNIVERSITY, SAUD GHANI, SAYING: ''We need to move air around the body, or on the skin, due to the amount of sweat. So I wanted to use air, so to draw the air, you need a fan. We used a solar powered fan. If the person woks indoors or inside buildings we also used a small charge that can be used to power the fan. Then, we used a face changing material that melts into a liquid at a temperature of 28 degrees." HELMET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROFESSOR AT COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, QATAR UNIVERSITY, SAUD GHANI, SAYING: "The cooling helmet is 300g heavier than the conventional one. Still with the additional 300g, it is less than the maximum weight of safety helmets set by international standards." VARIOUS OF RESEARCHER ADJUSTING MEASURING DEVICE MEASURING DEVICE
- Embargoed: 13th January 2017 11:54
- Keywords: Qatar workers cooling helmets World Cup migrants
- Location: DOHA, QATAR
- City: DOHA, QATAR
- Country: Qatar
- Topics: Human Interest/Brights/Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0015EXPH79
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Migrant workers building soccer stadiums in Qatar are to be given 'cooling' hard hats to reduce their body temperature.
Scientists at Qatar University designed the solar-powered hard hats to improve conditions for 2022 World Cup labourers who rights groups say have suffered abuses.
Mechanical Engineering student Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Ibrahimi was among the team which developed the helmet.
"The head is an important body organ. Any increase in its temperature might cause harm to workers and affect their productivity. We thought of launching a project to serve the workers and provide a safe environment for them where they can work comfortably and without harming their bodies," he said.
A fan in the top of the helmet blows air over a cold pack onto the person's face reducing skin temperature by up to 10 degrees centigrade, said Saud Ghani, an engineering professor at Qatar University.
"The cooling helmet is 300g heavier than the conventional one. Still with the additional 300g, it is less than the maximum weight of safety helmets set by international standards," he said.
About 5,100 construction workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh are building stadiums in the wealthy Gulf Arab state which has drawn charges by human rights groups of labour abuse, including poor safety at work and squalid living conditions.
Summer temperatures in Qatar can reach 50 degrees and Doha enforces a ban on outdoor work for several hours a day during the hottest months of the year.
But migrant workers have complained about heat exhaustion and dehydration while working in summer.
Around 260 migrant workers from India died in the whole of Qatar in 2015, according to figures from the Indian embassy in Doha seen by Reuters.
In May an Indian labourer died of a heart attack while performing steel work on a World Cup stadium in Doha in an incident officials denied was caused by working conditions.
The helmets can provide cooling in hot temperatures for up to four hours.
They will be introduced at all World Cup building sites next summer, said an official from Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing the tournament's organisation.
American athletes have used body-based cooling technology including "ice hats" to improve their performance but this would be the first time the technology has been used on a wide-scale basis in construction.
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