Tips to deal with the Sandstorm

Qatar is currently experiencing a heavy sandstorm. In fact, last night was considered as the worst sandstorm in years. So how do we protect ourselves from it? Here are some tips after the jump.

Protect your eyes
Wrap around safety glasses should be worn on site as they offer protection from blowing dust or sand. If you have airtight goggles they are better, if you are working outside in open areas as part of your job please ensure goggles are obtained – contact safety department, if necessary.

Avoid wearing contact lenses
Even small amounts of airborne dust can cause eye irritation and vision problems.

Cover your nose and mouth
If you have a face mask, put it on. If you don’t have a face mask, you can wrap a bandanna or some other piece of cloth around your nose and mouth.

Respiratory function
Dust storms can be particularly dangerous to those with impaired respiratory function e.g. asthma. Try to limit time spent outdoors.

Wet Clothes 
On your room, try putting wet clothes on the gaping parts of the door and windows to help prevent the dust from coming in.

Petrolium Jelly
Find a bandana or a cloth and moisten it a little bit then wrap it around your mouth and nose. Find and apply petroleum jelly inside your nostrils to prevent the mucous membrane to dry out.

We understand that work cannot stop because of bad weather, but we do expect you to follow some simple safety guidelines:

  • Assess your journey: assess whether your journey is absolutely necessary before embarking on it.
  • Prepare: Check traffic reports on the radio or internet before you embark on long journeys.
  • Check: Ensure that your car is in good working condition before heading out, particularly that windscreen wipers and lights are functioning properly.
  • Slow down: Reduce your speed and keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Be alert: and focus only on driving, be prepared for gusts of side winds and watch out for other vehicles not paying attention and particularly pulling out in front of you or coming to a sudden stop.
  • Use of headlights: Switch on headlights if visibility is reduced. BUT switch off you lights when stationary, to reduce possibility of a rear-end collision, other drivers use taillights of cars to help them navigate the road ahead of them.
  • Wait it out: If you feel your visibility is compromised, find a safe location and wait until the worst of the weather passes.
  • Do not use cruise control: Turn off your cruise control, so you are in full control of your vehicle.
  • Breakdown: If you break down, inform the police and get the vehicle off the road as soon as possible. If you cannot move the vehicle to a safe place, you should leave the car and stand as far away from the road as possible.

Protect yourself from a sandstorm

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