Health and safety

One of the joys of writing for a publication is receiving letters and comments from dedicated readers.

COMMENT, Human Resource

One of the joys of writing for a publication is receiving letters and comments from dedicated readers.

Some letters are complimentary, a few encouraging and occasionally, some even border on hate mail.

But the ones that are closest to my heart are the ones I receive from those readers who go through each page of the magazine with a fine-tooth comb.

Last week, one of these favourites pointed out photographs in the magazine depicting heath and safety breaches on construction sites in the city. To my shock, every second picture had some form of a health and safety violation.

Our reader claimed they were either staged or that they were a reflection of what actually goes on, onsite.

Now I know that our photographers visit construction sites along with our reporters and take pictures while the day-to-day construction activity is in full swing, which leaves only a fraction of a chance for a staged shoot. So, I'd have to admit, it is the latter case.

Coincidentally, and also confirming my concerns, last week the director of the Dubai Health Authority also pledged to further improve health and safety practices on the city's construction sites.

With the summer on our heads and the midday working ban to come into effect in a month's time, it's good that health and safety is being flagged again. But does it really need any more attention?

If a random photographer shows up at a random construction site to take random pictures and captures random heath and safety breaches when he is trying to snap random construction shots instead, one begins to think.

If all this is in fact really random, then all concerned need to put a stop to it and quickly. It's bad business. Financial loss. Money. It's not so random now, is it?

Conrad Egbert is the deputy editor of Construction Week.

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