Construction companies and industrial firms in Dubai will soon have to appoint safety officers accredited by the emirate’s civic body to prevent worksite accidents, officials said on Sunday.
The municipality’s announcement follows as many as 50 deaths and more than 420 injuries in over 500 workplace accidents in the construction, industrial and infrastructure sectors last year.
The new regulation will come into effect by this year end and will specify the number of safety officers mandatory for companies depending on the number of their employees and risks involved in their operations, said Raed Al Marzouqi, who heads the Occupational Health and Safety Section at the Department of Public Health and Safety.
“The accredited safety officers will be responsible for overall safety aspects in their companies and they have to take preventive measures to avoid worksite accidents and hazards,” said Al Marzouqi.
He said that these officers will be legally held responsible for lapses in safety at their worksites.
The official was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar held to mark the International Labour Day and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
Meanwhile, Alya Ismail Al Marzouqi, the head of Inspecting Entities Accreditation Section of Accreditation Department at Dubai Municipality, said the contractors and consultants in the construction sites must also get accreditation certificate from authorised entities.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Alya said that this certification was very important as it has a big role in ensuring the safety and security as well as reducing accidents at construction sites.
She said the decision followed one of the accidents at a construction site that resulted in big losses and injuries due to the fault in fixing the scaffolds by labourers.
Raed Al Marzouqi said the municipality was striving to build a safety culture in the emirate by asking companies to focus on safety training and best practices.
He said the “Safety for Sustainability” campaign of the civic body urges companies to invest in workers’ safety and wellness so that the employers will not end up losing money and reputation due to accidents. The campaign asks the companies to consider their workers as their most precious asset.
This year’s theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is “Live Safe... Work Safe — Promoting Safety and Health in a Green Economy”. The awareness materials being distributed on the occasion include do’s and don’ts for workers, employers and their guests.
The municipality’s safety alerts, which also highlight the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers, will be sent out to 26,000 companies registered with the e-government, said Al Marzouqi.
In addition, he said the municipality would distribute brochures and leaflets to companies mainly from the construction and industrial sectors. Another awareness programme will be held for the workers with the Dubai Municipality.
Source : www.khaleejtimes.com