Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

We are all responsible for health and safety

Our readers have their say on schools, India and fires

Landlords and landowners will not be allowed to increase prices this coming academic year Victor Besa / The National
Landlords and landowners will not be allowed to increase prices this coming academic year Victor Besa / The National

As parents, we have an expectation that our children will be provided with a safe environment, in which they can be nurtured and grow. School is a unique environment because children require a high duty of care. With this in mind, educational institutions must ensure that health and safety is embedded as a core value.

Having worked in the UAE for the last 10 years, I have witnessed the improvements made in health and safety, most prominently within the education sector. I am fortunate to work for an organisation where health and safety is of paramount importance and as one of the largest providers of education in the world, we are setting a benchmark for health and safety in the UAE. A proactive health and safety management system promotes a safer working environment and results in the avoidance of accidents and incidents. In addition to reducing costs, it increases morale among students, staff and parents and reduces staff absences due to injury or occupational ill-health.

Health and safety should begin at the top. But this can be particularly challenging in large global organisations, where significant cultural and awareness differences relating to health and safety are often prevalent. In such cases, it is best to have a team of designated health and safety professionals on board. But ultimately we are all equally responsible for health and safety and this should never be forgotten.

Paul Slater, vice president health, safety & environment, Gems Education

The people won in Indian state elections this week

I write in reference to your article India’s ruling BJP suffers setbacks in state elections (December 12): this piece was an interesting read, covering in great detail the recent Indian election results and the threats facing the ruling BJP party in next year’s general elections. This week’s crushing blows should be an eye opener for the BJP, which needs new strategies and messages for the Indian people. There is little point in making promises that cannot be kept. The BJP still holds the majority of India’s state legislatures and so these losses, although disappointing, do not spell the end of its dominance. And the opposition Congress party still lacks credibility for many Indians. However whoever claims victory this week is wrong; this is the people’s victory. It tells political parties that only those who deliver can be assured of continued support. It suggests the BJP could face a real challenge in 2019.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Strict rules and guidelines are required to avert fires

I write in reference to Nick Webster’s important article Grenfell Tower fire disaster should lead change in UAE (December 11): fire bracings should be made essential on all buildings and explicit guidelines shoud be issued to every building contractor with strict inspections prior to occupation by tenants. Fortunately I saw only two small fires during my long stay in the UAE.

Name withheld by request

Updated: December 12, 2018 06:48 PM