TV channel to help workers

UAE-based broadcast will target labourers to raise construction safety awareness, if given green light.

The channel will broadcast programmes and soaps about construction safety for the workers.
The channel will broadcast programmes and soaps about construction safety for the workers.

A national television channel dedicated to construction workers may soon be launched in the UAE, depending on permission and funding by the government.

If given the go ahead, the channel will be developed by South Africa-based Raintree Productions.

"With development and construction being such major factors in the UAE, especially Dubai, it warrants setting up a dedicated channel for the specific purpose of dealing with life in construction," said Richard Lawton, representative, Raintree Productions.


Raintree works with companies to train employees on issues such as health and safety, using processes including workshops, theatre, focus groups, film, video and broadcasting.

According to Lawton, the idea of the television channel will be to provide a medium through which to raise awareness of safety in construction and to communicate its importance to construction workers.

"This can definitely be government sponsored and would be a unique innovation in Dubai and the UAE, where the channel could be broadcast daily. People will look upon this as entertainment and it will influence the way they work on site," he said.

The construction industry in the region faces a major challenge in communicating health and safety procedures due to the multicultural nature of the workforce.

Lawton said that methods such as theatre and television could have far greater success in being understood by workers than traditional safety inductions.

"Most of what is said to workers in the initial safety induction is forgotten," he said. "You have to present it in the media they best respond to, so that the symbols are reinforced. It's about getting the workforce to take ownership of their part of the responsibility of staying alive and staying safe. These methods are ways to get them involved. If one does it from the worker's point of view instead of the corporation's point of view, they will understand it better."

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