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Five minutes with Daousser Chennoufi, Draw Link

by Neha Bhatia on May 2, 2016

Construction HSE and labour welfare should be the contractor's responsibility, Chennoufi says. [Representational image]
Construction HSE and labour welfare should be the contractor's responsibility, Chennoufi says. [Representational image]
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Draw Link Group has been active in the Gulf for over a decade, and the UAE-headquartered company's Middle East operations are overseen from the firm’s Dubai branch.

Daousser Chennoufi, Draw Link's chairman and key architect, says design and fit-out works comprise the majority of the firm's regional activities. 

“We work primarily on hospitality projects: hotels, restaurants, and so on." 

ConstructionWeekOnline speaks to Chennoufi about health, safety, and environment (HSE) standards in the GCC, and Draw Link's HSE mandate for the region. 

1. In the typical construction hierarchy, who should be in charge of HSE and labour welfare?

This is really the responsibility of the contractor or sub-contractor that is assigned the job.

It is important that all staff on site is educated on the importance of HSE.

2. How can workers ensure better HSE standards? 

Workers have an important role and should take an active part in helping to manage health and safety risks.

In particular, they must always follow site rules and procedures, and it is recommended that a daily briefing is scheduled reminding workers of importance of wearing their safety uniform checking the machines or scaffolding prior to using it; storing equipment and materials used on site carefully; and, checking machines prior to use. 

Workers must only carry out construction work if they have the relevant skills, knowledge, training and experience, or if they are provided with the training and supervision that enables them to do it safely and without risk to their health. 

They must also be aware of the health and safety risks involved in work on every site and the way those risks are managed, and report any risks to [supervisors]. 

3. How can employers make construction sites safer for their workers? 

Employers must consult their workers (or their representatives) on any health and safety matters that affect them.

Many employers go further by using positive worker involvement to highlight areas of concern and implement effective practices.

Next page: Chennoufi discusses common onsite HSE failures, and the role of labour supply companies in migrant worker rights' management