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Safety at heights takes Dubai South to 35.8 million safe man-hours

Developer's HSE campaign sees buy-in from 16 local consulting and contracting giants

Dubai South has recognised 16 local consultants and contractors for their Safety at Heights awareness campaign about HSE on construction sites [image: dubaisouth.ae].
Dubai South has recognised 16 local consultants and contractors for their Safety at Heights awareness campaign about HSE on construction sites [image: dubaisouth.ae].

Sixteen construction consultants and contractors have been recognised for their safety-conscious work – especially at heights – within the Dubai South master development (pictured). Between January and December 2018, Dubai South achieved 35.8 million man-hours without “any serious accidents or lost-time incidents” at its construction sites.

The ‘Safety at Heights’ campaign by Dubai South Occupational Health, Safety, Security and Environment Authority (OHSSE) was introduced to raise awareness among workers about construction site safety rules and regulations. As part of the campaign, consultants and contractors working within Dubai South were required to conduct activities that would increase safety awareness among workers. Nurol and Khatib & Alami were recognised for creating the most engaging health and safety campaign within Dubai South.

Other consultant-contractor teams that were also recognised included U+A and Pivot Engineering; Atkins and Al Qabdah Global Contracting; DCM International and Amana Contracting – DB Schenker; Geo Co and Amana Contracting – Aerospace; WME Consultants and Dhafir Development & Contracting; Atkins and Intermass Engineering and Contracting; and Al Jabal Engineering and Fujairah National Construction.

Commenting on the programme, HE Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South, said: “The highest risk within any construction site and most fatal accidents that occur [on site] involve working at heights. With any work activity that takes place at height, such as working on ladders, man-lifts, or on scaffolding, the risk of a fall resulting in serious injury or death is a fact.

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“However, those risks can be managed by making sure that the work is always planned and organised with safety in mind. It is our obligation as the management team to ensure that our workers are safe, the condition which they work in and on, is safe and that they understand the risks involved in the work they need to carry out. Through campaigns like this, we will help raise awareness of the dangers and that the people will know they are empowered to work safely.”

Dr Wim Raath, head of OHSSE at Dubai South, said the participation of consultants and contractors within Dubai South would continue to be encouraged for Dubai South’s ‘Safety through the Empowerment of People’ (Step) Programme, of which Safety at Heights is a part.

“It is of paramount importance on all construction sites, as too many lives are being lost because people are not working safely in high locations,” Raath added.

“Unsafe conditions, incorrect use or damaged equipment and ignorance plays a huge role in not following the correct practices. Our aim through this campaign was to reduce the potential number of accidents resulting from fall from heights on construction sites and to provide support in empowering people in the construction industry, to stop and think before they undertake any work at heights. We are positive that this campaign will help cut the number of potential accidents and save lives.”

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Dubai South’s safe man-hours achievement was described by Ramesh Narayanan, manager of OHSSE, as a reiteration of consultants and contractors to achieving Dubai South’s health and safety targets.

He added: “We applaud the effort of all of them and we encourage them to continue to be committed in providing a safe working environment especially for those working at heights while they safely complete all the iconic projects within Dubai South.”

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Construction Week - Issue 751
Oct 13, 2019