Construction Sites Under Safety Scanner

DUBAI - Inspections at construction sites in Dubai have been intensified after the introduction of the Safety Manual for Construction Workers earlier this year.


Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sun 16 Nov 2008, 1:28 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:21 PM

Waseem Al Alami, Health and Safety Manager of Mirdif Security and Safety, which advises Dubai Municipality, said, “The safety measures have been beefed up, the number of professionally trained inspectors has been increased, and everything shall be done to ensure safety of the workers and people living in the vicinity of construction sites.”

The safety manual outlined specific safety procedures for all types of construction works, demolition and associated jobs.

In the backdrop of recent fatalities in accidents at construction sites, the German exhibition organisers, Epoc Messe Frankfurt, would be featuring “Construction Safety” as the key theme at the Intersec Trade Fair and Conference, which will be held from January 18 to 20, next year.

Most experts blame workers’ lack of awareness of the seriousness of the risks that face them every day.

Angela Schierholz, Senior Show Manager for Epoc, said, “Safety at height is a categorical must for all jobs, either work or rescue. Professional and high-end products, along with safety training programmes, are absolutely important at the construction sites to understand and avoid potential risks.”

Another factor was that most labourers hired for projects had no experience in construction and were hired to fill in as manpower supply could not match with the demand from the large number of construction projects going on across the UAE and the Gulf region.

Reports indicated that 50 per cent of all construction-related accidents in the UAE and the GCC countries are a result of falls.

Each year about 2.3 million work-related deaths take place around the world, with the construction industry accounting for 60,000 deaths, according to Ray Hurst, President of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, United Kingdom.

“That is, one death occurring every 10 minutes in the construction industry somewhere in the world,” Hurst pointed out.

According to Dubai Municipality, there were 865 construction-related accidents between 2004 and 2007. Falling from heights accounted for 45 per cent of the accidents. Among other type of accidents were collapse of cranes and other machinery, and fire and electrocution.

Municipality officials said among the violations of basic safety rules were non-provision of helmets to workers, failure to erect safety barriers and deploying men to work on highrises without protective equipment.

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