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UAE Companies Carries Out Efforts to Keep Workers Healthy

The joined several countries around the world in order to recognize April 28 as Workers’ Memorial Day, an International Day of Action for Safety and Health at Work last week.

The event aims to promote safe and healthy work environment for all, which is an essential part of the world strategy launched by the International Labour Organization.

At the same time, Business spoke to manufacturers and doctors in the UAE, said the work environment in offices and industries has changed over the time and poses increased health and safety risks.

“This is because, yacht making is less a production line process and resembles rather a building construction process. With painting preparation, interior fitting, electrical and plumbing work and exterior fitting going on all at the same time, a close co-ordination between all departments is elementary.”

The risks yacht workers face are, dust hazards from the sanding preparation for the external paint process; in the lamination department, workers deal with a chemical process where release of hazardous gasses like styrene has traditionally been a concern; and furniture painters are exposed to paint fumes.

Steel fabrication, with heavy machinery and heavy semi-finished items, is a major area of concern, as is people tripping over items or hitting something because of the congested spaces during the peak times of work.

Construction and paint manufacturing are other industries, which have to tackle health and safety risks.

Dr John R Bera, head of orthopaedics department, said: “The construction sector has undergone a sea change in the last few years – from low rise to sky-scrappers, and a greatly accelerated pace.”

Potential risks that workers face include poly trauma due to falls, multiple fractures and in extreme cases, loss of life. Those involved with designing or carpentry also face risks such as shoulder-hand syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical spondylitis and interscaplar fibromyositis.

“More and more offices around the world are considering a lifestyle that is in a way ‘species appropriate’ and takes care of the basic need of every human being such as the right to have healthy food without time pressure to eat, so there is no pressure on working during lunch breaks. Also, humans have the right to communicate with each other and share experiences and feelings.”

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