Health and Safety continues to be a top priority for businesses in the UAE, particularly those in the construction industry. Within the Health and Safety remit falls working safely at heights, a particularly relevant topic in a region known for it's love of skyscrapers and an ever changing skyline.
A dangerous occupation
Working at Height is indeed a dangerous occupation if the relevant precautions are not taken, and even a relatively small drop can cause severe injury. Back in 2014, The National reported that the Abu Dhabi Government had confirmed a 32% reduction in accidents in the workplace linked to falls. The reduction followed the Height Aware Safety Programme of 2013, which aimed to highlight injuries that occur in sectors such as construction, agriculture and the oil and gas industry.
The wider culture
Within the high risk industries there is indeed an acknowledgement of the importance of a safety culture within the organisation, however is culture and riasing awareness enough on it's own? In this region, there are several cultural barriers that can have a negative impact on general health and safety practices and implementation. For example, there is an inclination to spend on the latest technology, systems and equipment, however the remaining health and safety budget then fails to cover suitable training to operate and maintain these properly.
What can be done?
There are a few key areas that need addressing in order to further improve health and safety statistics in the region, to improve on the progress already made. There is a need to review and further develop advanced HSE legislation that is both up-to-date from a global best practice perspective, and carries suitable punishments for thos who fail to comply.
In addition, governments can strengthen their enforcement bodies by investing in the right number and calibre of enforcing officers who are trained in HSE to a university level. These officers need the authority to take enforcement action and prohibit unsafe business activities wherever necessary.
At an organisational level, the biggest action that can be taken to mitigate risks and effectively help save lives, is to invest in quality, accredited training. At Restrata, we offer a range of health and safety courses including:
Rescue from Height
Safe Working at Height
Working at Height incl. Ladders, Steps, Harnesses, Rooftop Safety, Low Level Access
Work at Height Basics Instructor Certificate (incl. PTLLS)
You can find out more about any of our courses here:
Alternatively, you can contact me directly to discuss your requirements.