Even before construction began on our stadiums, we were acutely aware of the importance of tackling potential heat stress on construction sites, especially during the summer months. We have implemented several mitigation strategies across our project sites to ensure workers are safe and comfortable while working outdoors. In addition, we strictly observe the summer midday work ban stipulated by the Ministry of Labour (MoL).
In July 2019, Workers' Welfare & Labour Rights collaborated in a major study commissioned by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the MoL to assess the impact of heat stress on workers. The study consisted of over 5,000 hours of fieldwork and was the largest study of its kind in the construction industry. As part of the study, heat stress experts, FAME Lab, examined one of the FIFA World Cup™ sites and found that our workers were at low risk of occupational heat strain due to the extensive heat stress mitigation strategies in place. A key factor in these strategies was worker empowerment and their ability to self-pace, hydrate and take frequent breaks as needed.
The study has further resulted in a new ministerial decision to extend the ban on working in open workplaces from 10 AM-3.30 PM between 1 June and 15 September. This came into effect in 2021. Earlier, the ban was effective from 11.30 AM-3 PM from 15 June to 31 August.
Heat stress mitigation is a critical component of our welfare initiatives and we aim to continuously expand and enhance on our existing strategies. In 2018, we achieved a breakthrough with the introduction of StayQool – revolutionary bespoke cooling workwear for workers – developed in collaboration with UK firm TechNiche and Qatar's Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
StayQool can reduce thermal skin temperature by up to 8C. It is designed to target key areas for cooling, such as the neck, wrists, crown, upper torso and groin, making workers more comfortable in hot conditions. We have deployed more than 50,000 suits and 4,700 cooling vests to workers across tournament-related projects, along with 11,400 balaclavas, which cool the head and enhance air quality by filtering out dust. This is the first time such a sophisticated cooling workwear has been locally designed and mass deployed in the construction industry.
StayQool has the potential to be used in many different countries and industries where hot conditions affect outdoor work. We are working towards the wider adoption of the suit for workers around the world to benefit from this incredible cooling technology, building on the legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
We introduced revolutionary StayQool suits to protect workers during the summer months. Do these suits make a difference on the pitch? Our SC ambassadors put StayQool to the test. Let's find out!
Figures are as of 31 May 2022.
Figures in videos are accurate and consistent with the period of filming.