x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Construction companies sign safety code

Nearly half of the emirate's building companies have signed on to implement safety plans at their sites.

ABU DHABI // Nearly half of the emirate's construction companies and contractors have agreed to implement plans to minimise accidents and increase eco-friendly practices on their sites.

About 800 of the 2,000 estimated construction companies operating in Abu Dhabi have registered to set up Environment, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) guidelines.

They have two years to create an EHSMS for reducing accidents, protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.

"We need to enhance HSE culture and we are aiming to be a benchmark for other cities in the UAE, in the Gulf and in the world," said Abdulaziz Zurub, the health, safety and environment (HSE) manager at Abu Dhabi municipality.

The 800 companies representa big increase from the 200 that signed on last year.

The number of inspectors visiting sites to ensure compliance also rose this year, Mr Zurub said.

In the capital, more than 20 municipal workers carry out daily inspections. In Al Ain, there are 19, up from two last year.

Offenders will initially be warned and the municipality may shut down the part of the site in violation in serious cases. Fines for repeat offenders range between Dh500 and Dh50,000.

jthomas@thenational.ae