Alarmed by the growing number of fatal workplace accidents in the UAE, Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organizers of Intersec trade fair and conference will feature "Construction Safety, " as key theme this year. Due to take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 18 to 20, 2009, Intersec is the leading event for commercial security, safety & health, fire & rescue, and homeland security & policing in the Middle East, and the largest outside Europe.
Recent reports have confirmed that 50% of all construction site accidents are a result of falls from height. Crane mishaps also contribute to almost 20% of the accidents. Other causes include excavation cave-ins and fires.
"The rapid increase in the number of construction projects in the UAE and other Gulf countries has caused an alarming number of accidents at construction sites, " said Eckhard Pruy, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organizers of Intersec. "According to research, construction projects in excess of US$2.4 trillion are now underway, with the majority of developments being carried out in Saudi Arabia and the UAE."
"High investments in infrastructure and construction industry do often stand in opposition to required safety standards. A variety of minimum safety standards has been implemented by the government, but the biggest challenge is to make companies adhere to these regulations by imposing fines and sanctions against those who break the rules, " added Mr. Pruy.
Investment in the aviation sector of Dubai itself accounts for $81.7 billion from 2006 – 2016. Some of the other major infrastructure projects in the UAE are: The Waterfront Project (US$50 billion), The Burj Dubai Development (US$20 billion), and Dubai Metro (US$4.25 billion).
Speaking at Intersec in 2008, IOSH president Ray Hurst reported that there are currently around 2.3 million work-related deaths worldwide annually, with the construction industry accounting for about 60,000 of these fatalities. "That is one death every ten minutes occurring in the construction industry somewhere in the world, " stated Hurst.
Safety at height can be separated into active and passive safety measures which are work positioning systems on the one hand, and fall protection systems on the other. Safety at height is a categorical must for all jobs, either work or rescue, to be done by rope access at a certain height, on roofs and confined spaces. Professional and high-end products, along with safety training programs are absolutely important to understand and avoid potential risks.
Intersec trade fair and conference in 2009 will bring to you a special display for safety at height to show the latest ractices and techniques in active and passive fall protection, and suitable trainings.
A whole range of factors have been blamed for accidents in the Gulf region, the major physical causes being falls of people and materials from height. Most safety experts blame workers lack of awareness of the seriousness of the risks that face them every day.
Another factor identified by experts is that most labourers hired on projects have no experience in construction and were hired to just fill in, as manpower supply could not match with the demand for workers, which resulted from the large number of construction projects going on simultaneously across the UAE and the Gulf region.
Occupational safety and health is becoming a core priority in the Middle East. Through a variety of workshops and presentations, the 2009 IOSH Middle East Conference will address the challenges and feature the successes involved in maintaining best practice.
Intersec trade fair and conference enjoys the ongoing support of numerous trade and government organizations namely Dubai Police, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Build Safe Dubai, and Dubai Civil Defence. Intersec in 2008 witnessed 800 exhibitors, showcasing 2000 brands from across 53 countries.
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