Big show for massive industry

Dubai's mega-project sized construction show, Big 5, will rumble into town this month and bring with it agents, contractors and PMV managers from all over the region.

COMMENT, PMV

Dubai's mega-project sized construction show, Big 5, will rumble into town this month and bring with it agents, contractors and PMV managers from all over the region. For the first time the plant, machinery and vehicle side of the construction industry gets its own piece of the action courtesy of the new show addition, Big 5 PMV.

The feeling is that this addition is long overdue as regional demand for PMV products is climbing faster than the Burj Dubai. The show is well subscribed and every last inch of exhibition space will be taken up by the latest in heavy machinery technology and equipment.

Among the new products on show will be an anti-collision system for tower cranes. A recent spate of accidents has again highlighted the issue of site safety where cranes are involved. Such systems, soon to become mandatory in the US, may help reduce the number of crane-related incidents, but other factors are involved too. Effective operator training and licensing procedures also have a part to play in making working conditions safer. Companies and training organistions are trying new ways to improve effectiveness, but there is still work to be done if improvements are to be seen across the board.

On top of that is the safety of the cranes themselves. Earlier this year figures from the Dubai Accreditation Centre (DAC) showed at least two cranes a week were failing vital safety checks. And this was after tougher standards were imposed by Dubai Municipality, which was also carrying out random inspections in an effort to curb the rising accident rate. Inspections include a check on whether or not cranes have been certified by one of the eight official accreditation bodies.

The past popularity and commercial success of the Big 5 is a great reflection on the strength of the construction industry in the region and its international reach. Hopefully its continued success will aid the development of the industry's standards too.

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