TECOM clocks safety improvements
Free zone authority says that enforcement of H&S regulations introduced last year has increased standards on site.
The standard of safety on construction sites in the Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority (TECOM) has improved by 65% since the authority introduced new health and safety regulations in April last year, according to Abdulaziz Zurub, HSE manager, TECOM.
Zurub said that strict enforcement of regulations by a team of safety inspectors has been crucial to ensuring that standards on sites are maintained. "Before we introduced our regulations there was a health and safety law, but nobody was complying with it. By enforcing our regulations, contractors are now beginning to comply, as they wish to avoid fines."
Violation notices are issued to contractors in breach of regulations, and must be acted on immediately. Minimum fines are US $272 (AED1,000), however, more serious violations incur higher penalties. A death on site will incur a fine of $27,226.
"On one site in Healthcare City we halted construction for three days after issuing three violation notices," added Zurub.
"It was a major violation regarding scaffolding, which can be very dangerous."
Zurub added that while improvements towards safety on construction sites have been made, more could be done in terms of companies creating better awareness of health and safety among workers and increasing the number of safety engineers on site.
"There are still violations taking place between management and labourers. The management must train its team. They must provide them with PPE [personal protection equipment]."
TECOM is working with Dubai Municipality on its new set of health and safety guidelines. "DM is updating its H&S regulations. We are cooperating with them, to try to come up with a very strong set of regulations that will encompass the whole city. These will be issued very soon."