In February, Myriad Global Media hosted a workshop in Abu Dhabi dedicated to exploring challenges in workplace safety behaviours. Myriad is a specialist HSE communications provider that has decades of experience in creating safety communications, which help clients to train their workforces. Myriad hosted this day-long workshop for local organisations to come and share knowledge and experience. Experts from OSHAD (Abu Dhabi Occupational Safety and Health Centre), IOSH and IIRSM were amongst the day’s presenters. Around 100 health and safety practitioners attended the event from different industries in both government and private sectors.
Ahead of the event Dr Ali Salem Al Qaiwani, an honorary member of IIRSM said;
“Safety is not a protocol or a manual, it’s a behaviour in all aspects of life, I’m looking forward to presenting at the Myriad Global Media Workplace Safety Day.”
The workshop started with Jennifer Palmer, Managing Director of Myriad Global Media Middle East opening the day. OSHAD then made a presentation titled ‘Achieving OSHAD SF-Compliance- OSHAD Tools and Programs’. Dr Ali presented on ‘Workplace Cultural Challenges, language, literacy and cultural subservience’.
Throughout the day further presentations and Q&A sessions explored topics such as ‘Human Factors, Effective Training and Global Benchmarking’.
The message was consistent – Humans are not robots and mistakes seem inherent in our natural state. Modifying behaviours could be a key to reducing the likelihood of safety incidents.
There was a common theme throughout the day on ensuring that ISO-certified HSE management systems do not become dry documents sitting on a shelf but are translated into real working practice that is understood and lived every day by the workforce.
Safety culture was another key theme – engaging the workforce to take ownership of safety issues in order to embed a true culture of safety behaviour throughout an organisation. A panel discussion at the end of the event featured prominent speakers from the worlds of business management consultancy who provided guidance and advice on how HSE can transform from being seen as a cost or compliance issue to a strategic business partner. As was pointed out by several speakers through the day, 10 years ago HR was seen as a support function but today is very much a strategic business driver. HSE needs to pursue the same path in order to have a seat in the boardroom and drive change from the top down.
According to the International Labour Organisation ‘every day 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.’
Safety is a serious matter, and here in the UAE we have an opportunity to bring the best practices from around the world together. The key now is ensuring those global benchmarks work together in harmony and that they are sensitive to, and incorporate the needs of the diverse workforce.
Come and talk to us about how we have helped to transform the health and safety culture and behaviour of multi-cultural organisations across the Middle East, and around the world.