The subject of interest in this report is the responsibility of management in health and safety with reference to the UAE industries. United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expanded industrially and economically especially in the airline, construction, maritime, and petroleum sectors. Mass recruitment and utilization of laborers both high-skilled and low-skilled from developing countries has provided satisfaction to the manpower demands of these rapidly growing economic and industrial sectors. (Speegle, 2012)
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This enormous recruitment has led to changes in population demographics. The total UAE population is approximately 8.2 million, with about 940,000 being Emiratis while the rest are multinational immigrant workers. These unique factors pose a number of challenges to the health and safety of workers. As a result, there is a high mortality rate.
This paper purposes to illustrate the role management plays in reducing the risk of dangers associated with the UAE industries. It outlines and emphasizes the activities managers should carry out to minimize such risks. Safety is a crucial requisite in any industry. Every firm should establish a safety section in charge of all incidents and accidents.
In addition, the report establishes the role of safety plans and health safety equipment programs in minimizing the risk of hazards in the UAE companies. This is to identify the missing links in management and poor managerial practices that give way to these hazards. The paper also tries to provide directions in the effort to minimize these problems. (Taylor, 2005)
The UEA is a rapidly growing state both in population and economy. It consists of a federation of 7 emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ajman, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm al-Quwain). These are situated towards the southeast part of the Arabian Peninsula. Despite being a new state in the Middle East, UEA it has witnessed remarkable economic growth in the last 40 years, particularly in the airline, maritime, petroleum, and construction industries.
Mass recruitment and utilization of laborers both high-skilled and low-skilled from developing countries has provided satisfaction to the manpower demands of these rapidly growing economic and industrial sectors.
They possess varying academic qualifications, religious beliefs, work experience, native languages, and cultural practices. This mass employment has a tremendous effect on the population demographic patterns. Consequently, its population has increased largely since the year 1971. (Institute of Leadership & Management, 2012)
Occupational injuries as a cause of morbidity and mortality in UEA
Injury is among the leading causes of mortality in the UAE cutting across all groups of people. Studies reveal that occupational associated deaths attributed to about 16% of all injury related fatalities in Abu Dhabi in the year 2007. Further, research studies suggest that the number of mortalities related to occupations injuries is rising. The 2007 Health Authority Abu Dhabi annual report reveals that 22% of all injuries are as a result of occupational injuries.
Factors leading to increase in mortality rate due to occupational illness
The rise of fatalities due to occupational injuries is alarming in the UAE industries. This has prompted the need to look into the underlying cause of these life threatening incidences. There are three major factors contributing to the rising number of work related deaths. These include:-
1. Lack of awareness of the occupational associated hazards e.g. Construction sites or chemical industries.
2. Inadequate training of the workers on the occupational hazards and how to avoid them.
3. Poorly established safety measures in working areas as a result of poor management. (Lawrence B. Cahill, 2010)
The role of management in minimizing risks associated with occupations
For safety purposes, every industry should have a safety manager who ensures that all processes and operations work in an effective and safe manner. The safety manager also makes sure that all the staff members are conversant with the laid down operational regulations and safety rules of the company.
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The safety manager is responsible for guiding the workers on the principles of safe operational procedures. In addition, they are also responsible for conducting investigations on the arising accidents and how to avoid them in the future.
The manager ensures that workers carry out all the operations and activities of a company in a manner that conforms to the Work safety-and Health administration rules and guidelines. The manager is the overall overseer of all activities in the industry.
The manager should assess the type and frequency of occurrence of the risks associated with the workplace. This assists in projecting the amount of resources to be put in place for any cases that may arise. The manager may achieve this by identifying the most common hazards, identifying the people at risk, evaluating the common risks, and establishing ways of tackling them. (Taylor, 2005)
Role of safety plans and health safety equipment programs
Safety plans are crucial in ensuring a safe working environment hence reducing mortality cases. A safety plan is an outline of approaches prepared by the safety manager. It addresses the laid down recommendations on how to handle injuries and minimize risks causing them. A well-organized and planned safety plan helps in reducing fatalities resulting from occupational injuries.
Safety equipment programs are responsible for ensuring that all the equipment used in an industry conforms to the standard safety and health specifications. They help reduce the number of accidents related to poor equipment. (Lawrence B. Cahill, 2010)
The government of UAE has established laws and acts, and programs to promote safety in working areas. These help promote safety awareness in industries. They include:
1. The Federal Labor Law and Amends
2. The Height Aware Campaign
3. The Heat aware Campaign
Expatriate workers just like other employees; import their attitudes, beliefs, ideas, and experiences into the occupational areas. The incidence of occupational linked injuries in the UAE is alarming. Partly, it is due to recruitment of many expatriate workers for the rapidly developing industrial and construction projects.
These have hence outpaced the capacity of health, labor, and education ministries to implement enough health and safety training and awareness programs. Safety and Health practitioners responsible for training of multinational workers should give special considerations to immigrant workers by developing a safety and health training and information program. (Speegle, 2012)
This study was a quite a challenge as it encountered many shortcomings. Integrating information from all governmental departments and agencies dealing with safety management was quite involving.
This report is simply an overview that needs further investigation. There is still need to research on this project since it is a leading crisis in UAE. Further studies should be conducted on how to minimize morbidity and mortality rates arising from the occupational injuries. Also, more research should be done to establish the best programs to be implemented.
Institute of Leadership & Management, J. J. (2012). Managing Lawfully – Health, Safety and Environment Super Series. Oxfordshire, London: Routledge.
Lawrence B. Cahill, R. W. (2010). Environmental Health and Safety Audits. Lanham, Maryland: Government Institutes.
Speegle, M. (2012). Safety, Health, and Environmental Concepts for the Process Industry. Clifton Park, New York: Cengage Learning.
Taylor, B. (2005). Effective Environmental, Health, and Safety Management Using the Team Approach. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.