International Workers Memorial Day
“An International Day of Remembrance & Action for Workers”
Organisations who successfully manage Health, Safety
& Welfare have a number of common characteristics.
They can demonstrate a progressive improvement in
their Injury & Ill-Health record. But above all they have
created a corporate culture within which safety
permeates “all levels” in their organisation.
A “Successful Safety System” can be regarded as a
key indicator of “Successful Management”.
“there are true benefits of achieving business objectives safely, safety is a
common issue which combines us all, design for zero incidents, with
safety there is no competition, how we action our impacts will shape the
environment we work in, safety is a journey - a long term commitment
which begins with senior leadership, all accidents are preventable, there
are benefits of sharing failures and successes, safety is a 100%
personal commitment - stand-up and be responsible, appreciate the
benefits of safety, if you look after your workforce you will benefit from a
good productive workforce, safety is an essential prerequisite of doing
good business, come in safe and go back safe, with safety there is
always room to improve, communicate your lessons learnt to educate
others, safety makes total commercial sense, be absolutely committed to
ensuring a safe workforce, safety is a primary fundamental focus which
requires proactive involvement, safety is everyone's responsibility”.
About the 28 th of April
• Every year on the 28th of April, we honour the memory of workers who
have lost their lives due to work-related injuries or occupational
diseases. The annual Day of Mourning is an opportunity to remember
those fallen workers and to re-commit to creating safer workplaces.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) www.ilo.org - across the world:
• Each year, more than two million women and men die as a result of work-related accidents and diseases.
• Workers suffer approximately 270 million occupational accidents each year, and fall victim to some 160 million
incidents of work-related illnesses.
• Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually – asbestos claims 100,000 lives.
• One worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide. 6,000 workers die every day. Work kills more people than wars.
What can you do? Address and change your impacts:
• Review the near misses, lost time injuries or fatalities which took place on your projects in 2009.
• Discuss the lessons learnt & implement effective measures to prevent accidents from repeating on your projects.
• Ensure every accident is recorded, reported & communicated to your workforce.
• Train & educate your workforce to own safety as a fundamental value.
People Cannot be Replaced
In 2009, 10 workers from BuildSafe UAE lost their lives due to workplace accidents.
40% of these fatalities were Falls from Height. 530 workers were seriously injured.
Every accident is preventable, stating the obvious, people are still being killed whilst
working on projects – this is completely unacceptable. Any accident must remind us
that safety always comes first and must not be compromised regardless of pressures.
We must do everything within our control to stop accidents.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. It takes real commitment and dedication to make
sure we all go home safe at the end of the day.
Leaders have a significant ability to influence a safe working environment.
Employees are every organisations key assets. Empower your employees to own
safety as a fundamental value.
When you see an unsafe situation - don’t ignore it or consider it someone else’s
problem. Report any hazards immediately to your supervisor or employer. Follow
established safe work procedures. No one should have to end up as a statistic.
Summary of 2009 Statistics
This information summarises the combined statistical data submitted by 36 main
contractors of BuildSafe UAE for the reporting period of 2009.
•Number of Projects: 479 Average
•Number of Persons Employed: 276,323 Average
•Number of Man Hours Worked: 887,072,131
•Number of Lost Time Injuries: 530
•Number of Fatalities: 10
•Lost Time Injury Rate: 0.0597
•Fatality Frequency Rate: 0.0011
Lost Time Injuries = 530
SLIPS / TRIPS
FALLS FROM HEIGHT
FALLING OBJECTS / MATERIALS
LABOURER DIES IN RAS AL KHAIMAH AFTER BEING BURIED ALIVE BY DEBRIS.
By Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter from GULF NEWS - Published: 00:00 March 8, 2010.
• LABOURER DIES IN RAS AL KHAIMAH AFTER BEING BURIED ALIVE BY DEBRIS.
• By Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter from GULF NEWS - Published: 00:00 March 8, 2010.
• Ras Al Khaimah: A Pakistani labourer was buried alive under piles of sand and rocks which fell on
• The victim was digging a three-metre-deep hole in Oman Street in the Al Nakheel area as part of
street renovation. The 44-year-old victim, Jol Ahmad, worked for a construction company based in
Abu Dhabi, which was commissioned to renovate the street.
• While he was digging the hole, huge quantities of sand and rocks fell on him, burying him alive, a
senior police officer told Gulf News on Sunday.
• The officer said the incident was reported to the Police Operation Room by the victim's colleagues.
• The officer added that the sand and rock loads were removed and the victim's body was recovered
and sent by ambulance to the morgue of Saqr Hospital. The body was to be handed over later to his
family for burial.
• The officer said the victim was working on reshaping the hole and the sand and rocks were supposed
to be used to fill the hole.
• We are saddened by the unnecessary loss of life caused through this tragic
incident. BuildSafe UAE, since being established over 2 years ago, has
recognised trench collapse as a major area of concern within the UAE
Construction Industry and has published a number of safety alerts in this regard
and advised on mitigating measures that can be considered in preventing
potential trench collapse and thereby the associated injuries.
• There is no excuse for allowing people to enter and work under the conditions
that were evident from the photograph of the accident scene and we would hope
a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident are conducted.
• The local Construction Industry is not only an important sector of the UAE
economy, but through the employment of a large expatriate workforce is also
recognised as the principal driver of many other regional economies as
well. Construction is all about the future and in particular the sustainable
development and progress of the UAE. Sustainable demands that
we guarantee our people a safe and healthy working environment. BuildSafe
UAE is one UAE Construction Industry initiative with this objective firmly at the
Real Lessons Shared
To date; the following BuildSafe UAE Safety Alerts have been circulated:
• 2008 DEC 07 - 161 - Safety Alert - TRENCH COLLAPSE FATALITY
• 2008 DEC 07 - 162 - Safety Alert - INJURIES TO WORKERS IN TRENCH COLLAPSE
• 2009 FEB 08 - 172 - Safety Alert - EXCAVATION COLLAPSE RESULTS IN FATALITY
• 2009 MAR 22 - 205 - Safety Alert - EXCAVATION COLLAPSE
• 2009 MAY 24 - 250 - Safety Alert - EXCAVATION COLLAPSE
• 2009 MAY 31 - 252 - Safety Alert - FATAL EXCAVATION COLLAPSE
• 2009 OCT 25 - 357 - Safety Alert - TRENCH COLLAPSE FATALITY
• 2010 MAR 14 - 428 - Safety Alert - EXCAVATION FATALITY
Falling Objects or Materials
To date; a large percentage of BuildSafe UAE Safety Alerts have been circulated relating to Falling Objects or
•2008 AUG 17 - 085 - Safety Alert - FALL OF MATERIALS DUE TO POOR SLINGING
•2008 SEP 21 - 107 - Safety Alert - FATALITY CAUSED BY FALLING MATERIAL
•2008 NOV 30 - 157 - Safety Alert - FALL OF MATERIALS
•2008 DEC 07 - 164 - Safety Alert - FALL OF MATERIALS
•2009 APR 12 - 220 - Safety Alert - FALLING OBJECTS
•2009 APR 19 - 224 - Safety Alert - STRUCK BY FALLING OBJECT
•2009 JUN 07 - 256 - Safety Alert - SEVERE INJURY BY FALLING MATERIAL
•2009 OCT 18 - 355 - Safety Alert - EQUIPMENT FALLS FROM HEIGHT
•2009 NOV 01 - 361 - Safety Alert - FALL OF MATERIAL DURING LIFTING
•2009 DEC 06 - 389 - Safety Alert - STRUCK BY FALLING OBJECT
•2009 DEC 06 - 390 - Safety Alert - LOOSE MATERIAL FALL FROM TABLE FORM
•2010 FEB 07 - 404 - Safety Alert - FALL OF INSTALLED BUILDING MATERIAL
While means to prevent objects or materials from falling in the first place must always be the priority,
following a review of these incidents above it was identified that a lack of proper Exclusion Zones were in
place. Exclusion Zones are required where there is a risk of Falling Objects, it is important to remember
that Exclusion Zones should be the secondary means of protection.
Focus on Exclusion Zones
The application of Exclusion Zones are part of the overall strategy for controlling the risk of Falling
Objects on construction sites.
Within the BuildSafe UAE membership, 58 out of the 530 Lost Time Incidents in 2009 occurred because
of Falling Objects on member construction operations. The majority of these accidents exhibited aspects
of non-compliance associated with Exclusion Zones implemented as a secondary control measure.
Further analysis of Exclusion Zone non compliance has identified three underlying themes:
1. The Exclusion Zone was not established and was not part of the planning.
2. The Exclusion Zone was part of the planning but was not established or was inadequate.
3. The Exclusion Zone was established but it was either removed or breached.
Primary controls such as full perimeter screens, perimeter scaffolds, avoiding work at the edge, good
housekeeping and the tethering of equipment helps prevent the fall of objects, however, where the risk of
Falling Objects remains, secondary controls must be implemented, such as installing catch nets / fans,
walkways with overhead protection and Exclusion Zones (often in combination).
Given the significant number of Lost Time Incidents that have occurred relating to Falling Objects and the
lack of effective Exclusion Zones, it is critical that more focus is put on the planning and execution of the
secondary controls, and in particular Exclusion Zones.
Policy for Exclusion Zones
The implementation of Exclusion Zones is a secondary control measure
to control the risk of Falling Objects during construction works;
however, alternate solutions may need to be considered for lifting
operations and the movement of materials involving cranes.
The following Compliance Requirements in relation to Exclusion Zones, should be considered:
• The standards for Exclusion Zones need to be clearly communicated to the supply
chain during procurement, and where required be included in Safe Work Method
Statements (SWMS) / pre task plans for work at heights.
• Exclusion Zone standards need to be effectively communicated to trade supervisors
and workers, and be verified as being in place prior to work at height commencing.
• If after the implementation of primary controls, there remains a possibility of objects
falling into areas below - Exclusion Zones and / or other secondary control measures
• Exclusion Zones as a minimum should include full height mesh fencing, robust
movable barriers and clear signage.
Exclusion Zone including full height mesh fencing, robust movable
barriers and clear signage.
Project Leaders should:
• Conduct an immediate review and coordinated follow up, and complete
an EXCLUSION ZONE CHECK (see next slide) to enable a review of all
current work at height against the Compliance Requirements on each
of your projects.
• Where gaps or non conformances exist, each project should prepare an
action plan to address and close out any issues which have been
• For projects currently involved in procuring contractors for the next
phase of works or if tender documentation has already been issued,
Project Leaders should ensure that this information is communicated.
Exclusion Zone Check
EXCLUSION ZONE CHECK
1. The standards for Exclusion Zones have been communicated to your trade contractors during procurement.
2. Exclusion Zone requirements have been communicated to supervisors and workers including the type of barriers that are
3. Where Exclusion Zones are deployed as a secondary control measure, they are included in the SWMS / pre task plan for the task.
4. There is a system in place that verifies Exclusion Zones are established prior to work commencing and they are setup before any
work takes place.
5. Exclusion Zones are of an appropriate size to prevent danger from falling objects (consider the height from which material can fall,
the nature of material that may fall, bounce effect caused by striking on the way down, and sail effect caused by wind).
6. Exclusion Zones are fully enclosed and delineated by robust physical barriers so as to prevent access.
7. Exclusion Zones are equipped with the appropriate signage to warn people of the hazards of falling material.
8. Hazard warning tape is not being used as a means of Exclusion Zone demarcation (irrespective of task duration).
9. Where required, Exclusion Zones are provided with additional personnel (spotters) to monitor and maintain the integrity of the
10.Where Exclusion Zones do not have full time personnel (spotters), a process is in place to ensure that the zones are regularly
inspected and monitored to ensure their integrity.
11.Where there is a significant interface with the general public (where construction work is taking place) and there is the potential for
the work zone to be breached, personnel are assigned to manage the area.
To date; the following BuildSafe UAE Safety Alerts have been circulated relating to Asbestos:
•2010 JAN 31 - 396 - Safety Alert - ASBESTOS CLOTH FIRE BLANKET
•2010 FEB 07 - 403 - Safety Alert - ASBESTOS INSTALLED IN NEW BUILD
•2010 FEB 14 - 409 - Safety Alert - ASBESTOS EXPOSED DURING DEMOLITION
•2010 FEB 21 - 411 - Safety Alert - FAILURE TO MANAGE ASBESTOS PIPES
•2010 FEB 28 - 416 - Safety Alert - ASBESTOS FOUND DURING REFURBISHMENT
•2010 MAR 07 - 425 - Safety Alert - ASBESTOS FOUND ON CONSTRUCTION SITE
Asbestos related diseases are extremely debilitating and almost always fatal. THERE ARE NO CURES – ONLY
PREVENTION. PREVENTION can only be achieved by raising the awareness, safe systems of work and
A Working Paper titled: Asbestos Regulation in the UAE & the Emirate of Dubai was produced by BuildSafe UAE
FOCUS GROUP #04 as an introduction to Asbestos Containing Materials & Asbestos Legislation in the UAE. The
outcomes of this Focus Group address the following issues:
•The Hazards of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)
•Asbestos Legislation in the UAE
•Legal Responsibilities & Duties of Clients, Consultants & Contractors
•The Requirement for Asbestos Awareness Training
• Every business in the United Arab Emirates must comply with the UAE
Federal Labour Law which outlines the legal duties of an employer.
• If you are a business owner, employer, manager or supervisor you
have the ability to ensure your workers do not suffer injuries or
illnesses by hazards exposed at your workplace.
• You also share the responsibility to prevent illnesses and fatalities in
your workplace by implementing the proper control measures that will
take care and protect your workers Health, Safety & Welfare.
• With proper care, precautions, instructions, controls, training,
supervision and PPE, workplace injuries and fatalities can be
• For more information visit www.mol.gov.ae or call 800 665.
“preventing accidents & protecting the lives of your workforce must remain
your highest priority, safety is ethically the right thing to do & business
wise the smart thing to do, health, safety & welfare makes good business
sense, establish a positive safety culture through your supervisors &
workforce, every accident is preventable by managing a zero tolerance
approach, your commitment must be personal - demonstrate this by
example, share your global experiences & lessons learnt, those with the
ability have a responsibility to effect change, look after the health,
safety & welfare of your people and your stakeholders at every level, invest
to improve your health, safety & welfare performance, collaborate with
industry stakeholders to improve the acceptable benchmarks, tailor your
training programmes to suit the workforces you engage in the regions
you do business, implement best practice and share it to educate others”.
Every Worker has a Right to an
“I n c i d e n t & I n j u r y-F r e e W o r k p l a c e”
Drawing By: Elina Doyle (7 Years Old)