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Health and safety body’s new UAE branch to help cut work accidents

May 3, 2014 4:20 pm

The world’s largest professional body in health and safety launched a new branch in the United Arab Emirates on 30 April 2014, with a pledge to help government and businesses cut work-related accidents and ill-health.

Inaugurating the UAE Branch at a flagship conference in Abu Dhabi, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) announced plans to help employers and regulators build on progress made in improving workplace health and safety in the region.

The plans include:

– Supporting the Ministry of Labour in the review and development of occupational health and safety standards on an Emirate-wide level across a wide variety of industries

– Joint events with regulators, including Sector Regulating Authorities, to help businesses risk assess work activities

– Workshops for health and safety practitioners in the UAE to help them achieve the coveted ‘Chartered’ status – a world-renowned indicator of excellence in the profession

The Institution, with a membership of around 44,000 in 100 countries worldwide, launched the branch as part of an international restructure involving the creation of national networks in parts of the world with significant member numbers. With more than 400 members, the UAE network will become one of the UK-based Institution’s biggest branches overseas.

IOSH UAE Branch chair Maisaa Nasrallah said: “In the UAE we are fortunate to be working in an environment with an ever-growing skyline, however, extensive developments bring occupational health and safety challenges and the UAE recognises opportunities to improve the situation.

“Indeed, we applaud the work government is doing to improve health and safety here and the significant role it has played in shaping occupational health and safety standards across the region.

“A key aim of our Branch is to help build on that success by first establishing and developing closer ties with government bodies. That will include supporting the Ministry of Labour in the review and development of health and safety standards, and holding events with regulators to build upon existing relationships and share expertise.”

As a female chair of a branch in a male-dominated profession in the UAE, Maisaa wants to increase membership levels, particularly among young women, and assist members in the transition to higher membership levels.

The Branch was launched in the same week as Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28), which is marked each year by events around the world to commemorate those who lost their lives at work.

IOSH President Tim Briggs said: “At this time of year, we always remember those who didn’t return home after a day at work. Much progress has been made in recent years, from the UK to the UAE, in improving workplace safety and health, but too many people are still getting killed or injured or falling ill because of work-related activities.

“Our annual Middle East conference and launch of the UAE Branch illustrate our commitment to helping reduce this number in this region and create a world of work that is safe, healthy and sustainable.”

The IOSH Middle East Annual Conference took place at Yas Viceroy hotel, on Yas Island. Speakers included IOSH President Tim Briggs, Dr Salwan Ibrahim, Medical Director of Medical Services International SOS and Omar Al Ashram, Division Director, System & Planning, EHSMS.

For more information, please contact:

Mara Carpencu, Active Public Relations & Marketing Communications Consultancy, +971 4 3643085

Tim Walsh, Media Manager, IOSH, +44 (0)116 257 3252 or +44 (0)797 660 4715