Dr Khalid Al Khazraji, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, said following his first meeting with Dr Nabeel Watfa, the ILO expert who is visiting the country, that the programme would comprise representatives of the departments concerned, including the MLSA, the Ministry of Health, the civil defence and the municipalities.
"It has become imperative to set up this programme in the light of the country's development and the existence of huge industrial, oil and marine establishments dealing in dangerous material," Dr Al Khazraji said.
"The UAE is establishing itself as a tourist destination and any industrial accident will hit the tourism sector," he said, adding that the authorities do not supervise directly the vital industrial and business sectors.
"The programme will be in charge of drafting the policies and criteria for a comprehensive occupational safety and security system for the country's establishments," Dr Al Khazraji said, adding that meetings with the bodies concerned would begin this week in the presence of the ILO expert. They aim to draft the suitable vision for the project and specify the implementation mechanism as well as the role of each body.
He said that the ministry had formed a national team to study the project in coordination with various parties, adding that the national occupational safety programme would play a consultative and executive role while offering advise to government bodies working in the occupational safety field. It will also support the role of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in enhancing its inspection mechanism.
Dr Watfa told reporters that the ILO had been taking part in the programme on the request of Mattar Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. "The UAE gives the matter of occupational safety special attention as it is trying to develop its tourism and industrial sectors that require the take certain precautions to protect the health of workers and the environment," Dr Watfa said.
He said that the national occupational safety programme would provide the government with technological equipment to take samples and measure of the concentration of pollutants at establishments.
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