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Engineering consultancy Atkins to create health and safety plan for UAE

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by Journal Of Commerce

International design and engineering consultancy Atkins has signed a contract with Al Ain Municipality for establishing an Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) department for the building and construction sector in Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.

ABU DHABI, UAE

International design and engineering consultancy Atkins has signed a contract with Al Ain Municipality for establishing an Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) department for the building and construction sector in Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The establishment of the Building and Construction Sector EHS Department seeks to ensure effective EHS Management Systems (EHSMS) are implemented on construction sites within Al Ain by 2012.

The key objectives include “safer workplaces, healthy working environments, minimizing pollution waste and delivering sustainable lifestyle and development,” the company said in a news release.

Atkins’ scope on the project involves the recruitment and training of inspectors and other support staff, the establishment of an IT system for registration and reporting, and the development of an enforcement strategy.

This department will have a direct link with Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM) and the Western Region Municipality (WRM).

The joint initiative with Atkins is in line with a government goal of forging strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Research recently carried out by UAE University indicated that about two-thirds of occupational-injury admissions at AI Ain Hospital in 2008 involved accidents involving construction workers. Most of the injuries were caused by falls or falling objects, both of which could be minimized through enforcement, education and precaution, experts said. Elias McGrath, the group administrator of BuildSafe UAE, said that although the government has passed laws to protect labourers, better enforcement was needed.

Al Ain Municipality has completed the first stage of the project which includes the development of this system, the first in the Emirate, and in particular for the construction sector, as well as the development of the internal system of Al Ain Municipality.

This involves:

• A gap analysis of all the various environmental, health and safety aspects of the building and construction sector in the Emirate, and an examination of short- and long-term measurements put in place by the government.

• Study of the requirements of the new legislative framework and determination of the additional legislative requirements.

• Development of the first unified system of environmental management and health and safety, particularly in the building and construction sector in the Emirate, with the development of new practices which incorporate best international practices.

JOC News Service

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