Event focuses on how employee welfare after and the associated business benefits
Positive worker welfare schemes that are present in the construction industry in the UAE have been highlighted at a recent meeting of health and safety professionals in the region. With a large scale Emirati construction industry in full swing, the UAE Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) supported the event which focused on how employees are looked after and the subsequent benefits this has for businesses.
More than 70 people were in attendance at the event, in Abu Dhabi at the end of January, which gave those responsible for the welfare of workers among contractors and sub-contractors a platform on which to share their own schemes and learn from peers. Key topics discussed included:
- Reputational damage
Employing in excess of 500,000 workers, the construction industry is currently the second largest sector in the UAE and culturally diverse which has its’ own set of challenges. At the event, relevant international standards were examined during a seminar which focused on examples of good practice for managing risks to workforce welfare. Following this, a panel discussion featured industry experts from organisations such as Gulf Related, Control Risks, WSP and Multiplex.
Steve Smith, a member of the IOSH branch’s committee, said:
“The event proved to be an invaluable platform, bringing together key players in the construction supply…I was very pleased with the resulting discussions that made significant headway in bringing forth industry-wide challenges and opportunities, realising the importance of collective action throughout the supply chain.”
Alastair Park, Head of the Astutis Middle East branch commented:
“Employee welfare, whether that be health, wellbeing or on-the-job safety, is everyone’s responsibility and there is an emerging consensus for collaboration between departments and a shift towards responsibility throughout the supply chain. Astutis trains a multitude of organisations across the Middle East and it is reassuring to see a commitment to policy setting at a board-room level. The UAE is a world leader for innovation, complexity and variety in the construction industry and as a major employer, companies in this industry can ill-afford to fall foul of the negative effects of failing to address the key issues outlined above.”