Winning firms were honoured during a ceremony.

Dubai South (the rebranded Dubai World Central) recently honoured contractors and consultant companies working within the development for the safety record achieved – 35.8 million man-hours without any serious accidents or lost time incidents – during 2018.

As part of its commitment to address global concerns on construction site fatalities, Dubai South hailed these companies for their participation in its ‘Safety at Heights’ health and safety campaign during an awards ceremony held recently at its headquarters.

The ‘Safety at Heights’ is an initiative led by Dubai South Occupational Health, Safety, Security and Environment Authority (OHSSE) rolled out in November to increase awareness among workers on the safety rules and regulations within construction facilities. Studies have revealed that 49 per cent of construction-related fatalities worldwide are caused by falls from heights and is the top cause for deaths and hazards in all sites.

The awards ceremony was held in the presence of Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South, Dr Wim Raath, head of OHSSE, Ali Abdulla, senior vice president regulatory affairs, and Mohsen Ahmed, chief executive officer Logistic District, who presented the awards to the respective consultants and contractors.

‘Safety at Heights’ engaged consultants and contractors within Dubai South to conduct various activities that will increase the awareness among workers within their companies. The participating companies prepared and held presentations, conducted training sessions and showcased the commitment of their management towards the campaign.

Al Zaffin says: “The highest risk within any construction site and most fatal accidents that occur 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.

“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. We all need to work together to reduce the number of accidents and improve ‘Safety at Heights’ throughout the construction sector,” he adds.

Dubbing it as a very important campaign, Dr Raath says: “We encourage the consultants and contractors working within Dubai South projects to be fully engaged and committed to empower workers in safe work habits. All consultants and contractors need to actively participate in the Safety through the Empowerment of People (STEP) programme, which includes the ‘Safety at Heights’ campaign.

“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. 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,” he adds.

Ramesh Narayanan, manager of OHSSE, said that from January to December, Dubai South achieved 35.8 million man-hours without any serious accidents or lost time incidents within its construction sites, thus reflecting the serious commitment of the consultants and contractors to ensure workers are fully informed of the safety rules and precautions.

“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,” he comments.

All consultants and contractors within Dubai South cooperated and participated in the campaign which was personally attended by Dr Raath and Narayanan, who both witnessed the high level of standards shown by the companies in the implementation of the campaign.

Seven companies have exerted extra efforts to promote the ‘Working at Heights’ campaign and were recognsed accordingly, however, the most engaging campaign went to Nurol for the contractor and Khatib & Alami for the consultant.

The seven consultants and contractors respectively that were recognised during the ceremony include: U+A and Pivot Engineering & General Contracting Company; Atkins and Al Qabdah Global Contracting; DCM International and Amana Contracting – DBSchenker; GEO Co and Amana Contracting – Aerospace; WME Consultants and Dhafir Development & Contracting; Atkins and Intermass Engineering & Contracting; and Al Jabal Engineering and Fujairah National Construction Company.