Day 2 of the 4th Annual HSS Forum, which took place from 27-28 November in Dubai, centred on the different types of methodologies, safety operations and systems that the industry can adopt to achieve worker wellbeing in the UAE

The forum kicked off with a workshop focussed on occupational health and safety services in the UAE. It covered a wide array of topics from employee assistance programme - metabolic health, to protecting and promoting health at the workplace (dynamics and biomechanics), improving the performance of and access to occupational health services, providing and communicating evidence for action and practice, incorporating worker health into other policies and promoting happiness and wellbeing at work.

Participants were shuffled between five tables at 15 minutes intervals, each of which took on a specific topic and worked to decipher it and make recommendations, with the aim of creating initiatives to better their work safety culture.

Dr Waddah S Ghanem, senior director - sustainability, operational and business excellence, ENOC LLC, led the keynote presentation of the day on Operational Excellence Management Systems. He stated that the management of most organisations may not accept the root cause of an incident, especially if it is the lack of proper maintenance or preventive maintenance by their department that caused the failure. The first step to becoming a High Reliable Organisation (HRO) is to acknowledge the problem and resolve it, Ghanen added.

"HRO is how an organisation learns from the incidents, identifies the cause of the incident and trains people in the organisation to be competent and to get it right.

"HRO operates on safety, efficiency and reliability over time. True operational excellence may not be achieved, operational excellence is not a goal, it is a journey, a journey of excellence and to maintain that excellence we need reliability," Ghanem further added.

According to Shaun Hannam, head of Safety International Airport Operations, Emirates Group, “Safety should be simplified. The organisation needs to identify the unsafe conditions and unsafe acts (fatigue, inappropriate use of equipment) and create a safe place for an employee. Simplifying an operational approach is more than auditing on paper, it is to focus on the individual and achieve a safe zone for the employee."

Jason Woods, Middle East and India representative, IPAF (International Powered Access Federation), spoke about how reporting an incident is a very important step in keeping the employees safe in the future. A MEWP analysis of 2013-2015 showed that fall from height is the highest fatal accident reported and entrapment is on the rise with three incidents in the UAE.

A presentation ‘Workplace health and safety in the UAE: a legal perspective’ was given by Will Cadwaladr and Rachael Smith from Clyde & Co through a Mock Criminal Investigation Process. They added, “A case study of an interview between an HSE executive and a public prosecutor regarding an employee safety incident that occurred due to a language barrier shows how important it is to print safety warning signs in different languages.”

What if incidents can be predicted? Christine Adeline, Global EHS product manager, SAI Global, discussed how data collection of incidents and analysing them can help provide better insights to managing hazards and risks while identifying, monitoring, analysing and reporting on EHS performance.

The forum ended with a panel discussion on AI versus human workforce where loss of traditional jobs and the use of AI technology in hazardous environments to safeguard the human workforce were among the topics discussed.

The 4th Annual Health, Safety & Security Forum, the latest in the highly acclaimed annual event series, was researched and developed by Health, Safety & Security Review Middle East.