4th Annual HSS Forum puts worker wellbeing at the helm

EGAEGA's Executive V-P, HSSEQ and Business Transformation Salman Dawood Abdulla, at the Forum. (Image source: Alain Charles Managed Events)Worker wellbeing is the core theme of the 4th Annual HSS Forum, committed to promoting health and safety across all sectors in the UAE. The event takes place from 27-28 November at the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection Dubai

 

The morning session began with a keynote presentation from Dr Ola Ahmed Mira, the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention Director - OHS and Head. To ensure better business practices, she advised participating organisations to invest in employee health to create a resilient and productive workforce, adding that today's work environment determines the health of an individual. Therefore, it is critical to follow employee health initiatives and put them first. She also mentioned that the UAE government supports wellness initiatives such as ergonomics training programmes onsite.

Dubai has, this year, topped the global list of construction project values. This is because of government spending and a committed multinational workforce in the country. During the summer, Dubai records very high temperatures but the show must go on. Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) is one of the biggest aluminium producers in the world. Therefore, the expectations pose a challenge.

EGA's worker wellbeing initiative to address the challenge of working in a hot and humid environment consists of three steps - awareness programme, hydration and healthy lifestyle. According to EGA's Executive V-P, HSSEQ and Business Transformation Salman Dawood Abdulla, the producer invest a great deal in technology and data collection methodology to regularly monitor the HSE standards in the organisation. "EGA to date continues to achieve and sustain zero harm to workers."

Following EGA's Abdulla was Dr Raed Al Marzooqi, Dubai Municipality, who spoke about the Dubai government's efforts to make working at a height safely Efforts must be taken by project managers to ensure that equipment used is certified and faultless. In particular, they should avoid using defective formwork and scaffoldings so that the worker does not fall. He added that many organisations still need to strategise their HSE norms, follow safety regulations and redesign job practices.

Getting to safety during an incident is a priority. But how do you get to safety safely? The global leader in evacuation chairs Evac+Chair's General Manager Gary Hicks demonstrated the concept with case studies from the 2001 World Trade Centre incident.

From construction to oil and gas - the HSE standards are different yet the aim is same: to save lives. Mohammed Suwaidan Al Ameri, Manager - HSE Compliance and Assurance Dept at ADNOC, discussed ADNOC's continuous efforts to achieve the industry benchmark for HSE globally. However, he also said that the goal can only be realised if we have data to record incidents. Right now such data sets are not available in the UAE. But he added that efforts are ongoing to improve employee wellbeing every day at ADNOC.

To address the data collection challenges, Akrivia has introduced an IoT-based health and safety management solution to meet the HSE needs. It can assist in incident reporting, cause analysis, corrective and preventive measures. Nikhil Bhat, Manager Business Operations, explained that it is a cloud-based solution and can be used on premises with a dedicated server.

The app can also be used to track and analyse incident trends.

Jorge Manuel Miranda Dias, Professor, Electrical and Computer, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, gave an overview about the use of video surveillance for crowd management that in turn can help in behaviour analysis of individuals.

Day 1 concluded with an Eaton presentation by Qasem Niureddin, Regional Sales Director, Life Safety Division. The electrical company is bringing new products in compliance with the latest safety standards. Its adaptive signages for building evacuations direct people out via the safest route.

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