society

Workers get iftars and safety tips from professionals

Group of health and safety employees spreads awareness during iftar gatherings at worker accommodations

14:52 June 22, 2017

Dubai: Working in the scorching heat, especially while fasting, is a more enduring experience for worshippers in Ramadan.

If workers at construction sites do not take enough precautions for field work while they fast, the chances of accidents at worksites increase.

Considering these points, a team of health and safety professionals has been conducting sessions on summer working safety tips, along with special iftar distribution for workers in different emirates.

The team, which started with just five friends in the health and safety field in 2010, now has almost 200 members in their WhatsApp group.

For the past seven years, they have been dedicating their time and resources to host iftars for construction workers at chosen labour accommodations in various emirates. Every year, they said, they have been distributing about 2,000 iftar kits to workers.

“As we all are working on construction projects, we took this occasion to appreciate the hard work and efforts of the labourers who contributed to the development of this country,” one of the team members, Shafeeeq Shareef, told Gulf News.

This year too, the group distributed iftar meals to about 2,000 workers at labour accommodations in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

However, the highlight of these iftar gatherings has been a session on worksite safety.

Since the members of the group are experienced professionals working in construction, fire safety, manufacturing, and oil and gas companies, and engineering consultancies and contracting firms, they have expertise in a wide range of health and safety matters.

“When people who fast work during Ramadan and especially in summer, there is a higher chance of accidents like falls from heights. So, we wanted to give them some better awareness about such issues,” said Lino Yohannan, another member in the team.

He said the group advises workers by using brochures, and other awareness materials issued by various local authorities as well.

“The level of awareness about worksite safety has gone up considerably over the years. But, the problem is that most of the workers are still not very educated about the precautions they need to take,” he observed.

“They were provided with health and safety posters in different languages received from the authorities. A health and safety quiz competition was also conducted and prizes were distributed,” Yohannan.

The team members observed that the workers get more excited to know about the safety tips. “Some really pay attention to the advice and ask questions to clear their doubts. We are happy about it.”

Apart from the iftar distribution and safety classes, the group has been actively involved in blood and cloth donation campaigns.

“Through our network, we are using our contacts to help others get jobs as well. More than 200 people have already got jobs with our references,” said Yohannan.