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One Worker Dies Every Two Days In Qatar As Country Prepares for World Cup 2022

One construction worker working on the World Cup 2022 infrastructure in Qatar died every other day in 2014, reported The Guardian. (12.23.14). The workers being counted are Nepalese migrants. The figure excludes deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers. This means, the fatalities among all migrants may actually be more than one every two days.

Workers in Qatar often have to toil for long hours in temperatures that regularly top 122 F. Exposure to the heat is one very likely cause of illnesses, injuries and death among the workers in Qatar. In hot weather, body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if the right precautions are not taken. Workers, especially, must drink water frequently and take rest breaks in the shade or air conditioning.

According to The Guardian, The Nepalese foreign employment promotion board said 157 of its workers in Qatar had died between January and mid-November this year. Of these worker deaths, 67 died of sudden cardiac arrest and eight of heart attacks. Thirty-four deaths were recorded as workplace accidents.

In Qatar, the kafala system keeps workers tied to their employer. In this system, workers are beholden to the employers who sponsored their visas. The Guardian (2.26.14) called the system “slave-like” and a “tradition that seems to have precedence over the labour law.”

In New York and the rest of the United States, employers must take the necessaryprecautions to protect their workers from heat illness. Workers should be trained to understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health, and how it can be prevented. Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash and heat cramps.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns employers and workers to watch for signs and symptoms of heat illness. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, weakness, irritability or confusion, nausea, thirst and-or vomiting. Symptoms of heat stoke include confusion, inability to think clearly, passing out, collapse and-or seizures. A victim of heat stroke may also stop sweating.


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