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Middle East construction giants post millions of safe man-hours

The Middle East’s contractors and developers are steadily raising the bar in terms of man-hours worked without injuries

Orascom is building the Burullus Power Plant in Egypt, which will rank among the largest natural gas-fired plants in the world.
Orascom is building the Burullus Power Plant in Egypt, which will rank among the largest natural gas-fired plants in the world.

Man-hours worked without a lost-time injury (LTI) is an important metric that contractors in the Middle East take extremely seriously.

Safety milestones are critical achievements for companies, and some impressive numbers have been recorded in Egypt, Oman, and the UAE so far this year.

Construction heavyweight Orascom Construction Limited reported in March 2018 that it had achieved more than 40 million man-hours without LTI at the Burullus Power Plant project in Egypt. Orascom said that it was able to meet its high commitments to safety and training standards in conjunction to setting a new “global benchmark for the fast-track execution” of the power project.

Work commenced on the development in October 2015, and Orascom said the LTI record was a significant feat for the construction project, which has faced “several challenges”. These issues ranged from immense site preparation works to severe weather conditions.

In the UAE, developer Damac Properties celebrated 25 million safe worker hours at the site of Damac Towers by Paramount. The number is eight times higher than the industry average of three million hours without injury, Damac said.

Reported in May 2018, Damac’s safety record marked almost 2,000 days without an incident on the site in Dubai.

“Zero incidents is our most important performance benchmark, with worker safety being a critical factor in the decision-making process  when selecting our construction partners,” Ali Sajwani, general manager of operations at Damac Properties, said. He added that the developer was “happy to have set a new safety record” with its main partners for the project, which has a built-up area of 37ha.

Another UAE-based business that has enjoyed strong LTI numbers this year is the subsidiary of Al Naboodah Group Enterprises, Al Naboodah Construction Group (ANCG), which achieved five million man-hours worked without an injury at the landmark Dubai Creek Harbour site.

ANCG is building two 37-storey towers that feature residential units, penthouses, and commercial units, plus external works and landscaping at Creekside Plot 18-A, a residential project in the 6km² Dubai Creek Harbour development by Emaar Properties. ANCG’s project director at the site, Moustafa Hassan, said bringing heavy equipment to high levels on the site presented a challenge.

“We have reached the 33rd level without any lost-time accidents, which is quite an achievement on a project of this scale and scope,” he explained.

“Even a small stone or tool dropped from such a height could be fatal if it hit someone, so it is a testimony to the training in safety standards instilled in our workforce, and diligence of all our workers that we have not had any lost time injury since the project began in January 2017,” the ANCG expert added.

Other regional markets have similarly reported LTI-free achievements this year. For instance, in Oman, Al Mouj Muscat said it had achieved 70 million man-hours without an LTI during a 10-year period, with an average of three first aid or medical treatments required per year.

With 2,400 personnel on site every year, the number is a particularly impressive achievement for the team, and there is no doubt that these successes will continue – across the Middle East – in H2 2018.

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Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019