In the latest development, the Health and Safety Environment (HSE) Division of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City has launched a monitoring and inspection campaign covering 7,427 building sites across the city.
Engineer Salah Awad Al Sarraj, acting executive director of the town planning sector, says the municipality has put in practice a new system to monitor and follow up contractors and consultancy offices’ compliance with the HSE plan, considering it a prerequisite for completing the licensing procedures and implementation of projects.
“In this regard, a program has been developed to suspend the online services of companies violating the HSE standards in the building and construction sites using Building Permits Program (CDP), and Mobile Inspection and Management System (MIMS), where all project’s transactions on the Building Permits System (CDP) will be suspended until the contractor or the consultant violating the HSE standards completes the procedures, removes the violations and pay the fine as per law No. 16/2009,” Al Sarraj says.
Al Sarraj says the new system mandates all consultants and contractors to meet the requisites of the HSE plan and applies rigorous periodic monitoring policy in such a way that neither contractors nor consultants can clear a phase, be it in terms of permits or construction, unless they meet all the required HSE standards, redress any mistakes, and eliminate all forms of risks that put the lives of workers at risk.
“Thus the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City will be able to play a leading role and move forward in the applications & mechanism of monitoring building and construction sites in a way that provides a safe, secure and healthy working environment,” he says.
Engineer Abdul Aziz Zurub, director of Health, Safety and Environment says the blitz has been accompanied by an awareness and education campaign, with the city issuing a special booklet on guidelines and standards as well as common risks and poor practices on construction sites.
Zurub places particular emphasis on the use of high scaffolding and the importance of precautionary measures to prevent the type of mishaps which lead to unnecessary injuries and deaths.
He says a work mechanism is currently underway to ensure scaffolding is used safely, starting from the selection of appropriate scaffolding, qualifying scaffolding supervisors and scaffolding assembly/disassembly among many other key issues.
Zurub has called on contractors to designate experienced staff to work on high-rise buildings and educate workers who work on scaffolding on matters such as avoiding throwing solid objects from high altitudes and ensuring that all machinery and equipment used to assemble scaffolding is in good working order.
He also warns contractors against the dangers of having workers operate on high scaffolding in unfavourable weather conditions.
“Safety standards for working in high altitudes provide for refraining from obligating workers to work in high places during weather vagaries, or strong winds which double the risk of the scaffolding collapse and workers falling, resulting in serious physical harm,” he says.