The Middle East is undergoing a transformational period, with the construction industry experiencing fundamental changes as a result of increasing trade liberalisation, globalisation and internationalism. With these changes come demands from the owners of large construction projects and the EHS community for contractors to perform more efficiently and safely.
Projected figures in both the construction and property industries have seen occupational health and safety playing an integral role in organisations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There are no government authorities to ensure minimal compliance, however, which is having a detrimental effect on worker safety.
PPE is just getting the basic principles right and is usually accommodated as the measuring stick. Conversely, due to the climate being a substantial factor for compliance with PPE use in the Middle East, not all of it gets worn when required. Along with these all too widespread occurrences, the investment in OHS has never been more pertinent.
The boom in construction projects has led to a boom in something else: work-related injuries. A recent study by the UAE University found that around two-thirds of hospital visits involved injuries incurred on building sites and that a lack of PPE or inappropriate PPE were associated with the incident that caused the injury.
If businesses in the Middle East are serious about their workforces, they need to get the basics right. An alternative solution is self-governance. This model can be implemented by having a benchmark against other high performance organisations, which are similar to their own business requirements. In doing this they can share their learnings and offer assistance to others to raise the bar for occupational health and safety.
The wellbeing of your workforce demands it!